In a You Can Play Project initiative, each team gets to choose an ambassador to represent the LGBTQ community and the Leafs made James Van Riemsdyk their choice. This a great way to create more inclusion for LGBTQ fans and athletes around the game of hockey.
The NHL made this statement on Wednesday:
“In support of their longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion in hockey, the National Hockey League, the League’s Member Clubs and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) will spotlight a variety of community-related initiatives for Hockey Is For Everyone™ month. Every day throughout February, Hockey Is For Everyone activities will focus awareness on such areas as LGBTQ; ethnicity and gender equality; socio-economic status and those with disabilities.”
You can find the full list of ambassadors here at outsports.com, SBNation’s LGBTQ-centered blog site.
Also check out the video the Toronto Maple Leafs made last year, featuring this year’s ambassador, Morgan Rielly, some former Leafs, and members of the Toronto Gay Hockey Association discussing equality for LGBTQ fans and players everywhere.
It’s great to see the NHL making necessary strides for inclusion for fans who suffer from discrimination or exclusion in our wonderful sport. Here’s hoping James can make some positive strides for the LGBTQ community with this ambassadorship.