Inclusive advocacy by ex-pro hockey player aims to expand the sport’s reach

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Former pro hockey player advocates to make the sport more inclusive



“Breaking boundaries in more ways than one, Brock McGillis is revolutionizing the world of hockey on a mission to promote inclusivity and acceptance. As a former OHL and professional goalie, McGillis knows firsthand the challenges of being gay in the male-dominated sport of hockey. His decision to come out as gay in 2016 sparked headlines and initiated a movement that is resonating with players and fans alike.

With an ambitious plan to speak to 100 minor league hockey teams in 100 days, McGillis is embarking on a journey that serves as a powerful catalyst for change. His tour, which commenced in Vancouver in November 2023 and will culminate in Toronto on February 3, is a poignant reminder of the impact of LGBTQ+ representation in sports. As he traverses seven Canadian cities, McGillis aims to humanize the struggle of being gay in hockey by sharing his own courageous story.

During a recent session with two minor league teams in Ottawa, CTV News witnessed McGillis’s compelling approach to addressing the prevalence of homophobic slurs in hockey dressing rooms. By engaging with young teenage players, McGillis challenges them to confront the harmful language that has become all too normalized within the sport. His genuine and non-judgmental approach encourages players to recognize the profound impact of their words and behavior, ultimately fostering a more welcoming environment for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Imbued with empathy and a dash of humor, McGillis’s powerful anecdotes resonate with his audience, prompting them to consider their roles as advocates for change. By shedding light on the pervasive nature of homophobia and promoting a culture of greater inclusivity, McGillis empowers young players to become catalysts for positive transformation in their communities.

As players grapple with the weight of their words and actions, McGillis skillfully guides them through a process of self-reflection, illustrating their potential to make a tangible difference in the lives of their peers. His message goes beyond the confines of hockey, urging players to stand up against discrimination and bigotry in all its forms. By championing empathy, compassion, and respect, McGillis sparks a ripple effect that extends far beyond the realm of sports.

Amidst ongoing conversations surrounding 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion in hockey, McGillis remains steadfast in his commitment to authentic representation and genuine acceptance. His unwavering advocacy stands in stark contrast to recent controversies within the NHL, where players’ objections to promoting Pride warm-up jerseys elicited criticism. Unfazed by these obstacles, McGillis champions a vision of genuine inclusion, one that transcends superficial gestures and genuinely embraces diversity.

In the wake of these challenges, McGillis continues to inspire and empower the next generation of hockey players, illuminating a path towards a more inclusive and accepting future. Through his unwavering dedication and unrelenting passion, Brock McGillis is at the forefront of a movement that is redefining the landscape of sports, one heartfelt conversation at a time.”



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