Brad Marchand Believes NHL Players Would Accept Gay Teammate ‘No Question’

by abournenesn

Jan 18, 2017

The NHL is the only major North American sports league that’s never had an openly gay player, past or present. But Brad Marchand doesn’t think it’s because they wouldn’t be accepted.

The Boston Bruins left winger received praise from the LGBTQ community recently when he called out a homophobic Twitter user for using a gay slur. But for Marchand, his response simply was second nature.

“I want to stand up for what I believe in, and I don’t think it’s right when people say things or bash people because of their sexual orientation,” Marchand told’s Joe McDonald recently. “I have friends who are in gay relationships, and I don’t think it’s right for people to be against that.

“Everyone is allowed to find love whatever way that is, so I felt like that was a time to say something, especially nowadays. We’re in 2017, and things are a lot different than they were 100 years ago. We’re all evolving to be equal, and that’s the way things should be.”

Coming out is an extremely difficult process for the LGBTQ community, and because a majority of the U.S. only began accepting gay rights in this decade, it’s not surprising that not many athletes come out. But Marchand doesn’t think it would be an issue in the NHL if they did.

“Guys would accept that, no question,” Marchand said. “We’re a team in the (dressing) room and a family. It doesn’t matter what different beliefs guys have, or where they come from, or whatever the case may be. Guys would accept it. Again, in the room, we’re a family. That’s the way it is on a hockey team, and that’s the way it will always be.”

So when will the NHL see it’s first openly gay player, or even its first openly gay former player?

“I have no idea,” Marchand told McDonald. “It’s bound to happen at some point, and when it does, it will be accepted.”

Thumbnail photo via James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports Images

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