19-Year-Old Becomes First Openly Gay Professional Hockey Player

by : Julia Banim on :

NHL prospect Luke Prokop has just come out as the first openly gay professional hockey player in a heartfelt Instagram post.

The 19-year-old, who was a third-round pick for the Nashville Predators during their 2020 draft, stated that he was ‘proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay’, before opening up about his lifelong dreams of playing in the NHL.


Prokop wrote:

From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams.

He added: ‘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 that I could be more comfortable today.’


In response, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also released a statement, praising the young player for ‘sharing his truth and for being so brave’.


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Showing complete support for Prokop, Bettman pledged to do ‘everything possible to ensure that Luke’s experience is a welcoming and affirmative one’.

He then went on to promise to continuing working to ensure ‘that any current or future NHL player contemplating following in his trailblazing footsteps knows our league is ready to provide full support’.


If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Sport


Luke Prokop/Instagram
  1. Luke Prokop/Instagram