For nearly 30 years, the LA Blades have been representing hockey in the world of sports. As openly gay and lesbian players, their work and their play has shown that talent, heart and skill overcome stereotypes. Their video on behalf of You Can Play was one of the first produced.
Here, with commentary from the team’s Peter Bentley, the Blades do what they’ve been doing since 1985 – playing hockey knowing that being gay doesn’t matter.
“Harvey Milk said that coming out to friends and family is the most powerful thing gay people can do to help end prejudice and discrimination. The same is true for athletes coming out in their sport. If they do, gay athletes stop being an abstract concept and start being real people.
Playing on the Los Angeles Blades, I have seen this happen first hand. There are the awesome straight teammates I have had who see our team as no different than any other. There are also our opponents who learn that gay hockey players exist and play the game the same way they do (often with plenty of truculence).
Beyond that, the Blades are a second family for many of us, with positive gay role models that many younger gay people do not have. While there is a lot of talk these days of who will be the first major sport gay athlete brave enough to come out, the LA Blades have players who have been bravely out and playing for over 20 years. They might not have NHL level skill, but they’ve got NHL level heart.”
– Peter Bentley, LA Blades