Tuesday, June 29, 2010
After seeing my Flyers lose to the Chicago Blackhawks this Spring I thought there was going to be nothing Cup-related to make me smile during the off-season, but this is just too good.
When the Cup is won, numerous appearance requests are fielded by the winning club and its players, so it came as no surprise when the Chicago Gay Hockey Association asked for the hallowed bowl to be included at this year's Gay Pride Parade. The cool thing is one player and his wife decided to make their day by granting the wish.
Brent Sopel's pal Brendan Burke came out of the closet in the normally homophobic world of hockey and wasn't shunned, but embraced. Unfortunately, Mr. Burke was killed in an auto accident so Brent and his wife thought that the Cup could spread a message of acceptance. And as any hockey player will tell you, the Ubermug loves a good party. The Stanley Cup has been a fixture of every imaginable boozefest in the past, but never a Gay Pride parade. Until Sunday, that is.
Brent Sopel and his prize joined the Chicago Gay Hockey Association's float and fans went absolutely NUTS. Even better, the Chicago Cubs not only participated, but Mr. Ernie Banks led the festivities. Chicago's half-million-strong bash marked the first time that representatives from any major pro sport appeared at such an event and it actually IS important.
Sport has been (wrongly) held as a great bastion of homophobia and when those who have achieved high levels choose to use their voices to unite they become larger than just their games. By taking time out of their lives, Ernie Banks and the Sopel family have achieved a level of humanity that can only be called greatness.
Chicago, you indeed rock.
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 08:06