Matt Hendricks this week became the first Washington Capitals player to do an ad for the “You Can Play” project, an organization promoting equality and the acceptance of gay athletes.
“Hockey takes courage. It takes courage to block a shot, to pay the price in the corner or to fight for your teammates. It shouldn’t take courage to go in your own locker room,” he said in the ad. “I’m Matt Hendricks. It’s time to end casual homophobia in our arenas. If you can play, you can play.”
The You Can Play project has run videos including the likes of Brian Burke, Claude Giroux, Dustin Brown, Stephen Stamkos and many others around the NHL.
“We are proud to stand with Matt Hendricks and athletes across the globe to make a difference in the sports community,” Caps owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement released by the team. “You Can Play is an important cause, and we value this opportunity to have a role in its mission.”
Watch it here, with more perspective from Patrick Burke to come later: