NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Predators prospect, Luke Prokop has become the first active player under contract with the National Hockey League to come out as gay.
In a statement on his Twitter page Monday morning, Prokop posted, “Hi everyone. While the past year and a half has been crazy, it has also given me the chance to find my true self.”
“I am no longer scared to hide who I am,” Prokop wrote, “Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay.”
“I may be new to the community, but I am eager to learn about the strong and resilient people who came before me and paved the way so I could be more comfortable today,” he continued.
He ended his message with, “This is just the beginning of my journey and I am excited to see where it takes me, both in hockey and in life. Thank you!”
Prokop, who is from Edmonton, Alberta, was selected in the third round by the Preds in the 2020 NHL draft, ESPN reports.
He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Preds in December and played last season for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, where he was an alternate captain.
Following the announcement by Prokop, the Preds released a statement and said, “All of SMASHVILLE is behind you, Luke.”
Gary Bettman, the NHL Commissioner, released his own statement: “We are proud of Luke Prokop for today’s announcement and I would like to thank him for sharing his truth and for being so brave.”
“We pledge to do everything possible to ensure that Luke’s experience is a welcoming and affirmative one,” Bettman added.
ESPN contributed to this report.