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Hockey Player Luke Prokop Had a Backup Plan For Coming Out

Hockey Player Luke Prokop Had a Backup Plan For Coming Out


The NHL prospect is opening up about his public coming out in a brand new digital docuseries. 

Long before he became the first out gay player under a National Hockey League contract, Luke Prokop was a closeted Canadian youth who had created an entire future life for himself just in case he was rejected by his family, friends, and teammates for being gay.

The 19-year-old prospect (who is currently signed as a prospect for the Nashville Predators) talked about his early struggles with his sexual identity and the moment he came out to his sister in the debut episode of Breaking Ice. The five-part digital docuseries from Uninterrupted Canada and EA Sports profiles champions of diversity in Canadian hockey, and debuted Wednesday on YouTube.

Prokop said he began questioning his sexuality around the age of 14. Over the next few years, he recalled spending many hours thinking about his sexual identity and the impact being gay might have on not just his dream of playing professional hockey in the NHL, but also on his personal life as well. In effect, he developed a backup plan in case he was rejected.

"I had envisioned myself somewhere in the United States and with my partner," he remembered. "I wasn't playing any sports, without my family or my friends in it, which I think was one of my darkest moments that I had held on to for you know a couple years."

Describing himself as "a very open book," it soon became impossible for Prokop to hide his emotional turmoil. He had always enjoyed a "really close connection" with his family and had developed a particularly strong relationship with his sister. During one conversation with her amid the pandemic-induced isolation, he remembered "she could tell something was off" with him.

"And then there was kind of like this, just like awkward silence and I started to break down I got really emotional and, you know, I finally just told her like 'Alana I'm gay.'"

He said it was important that his sister was the first person he told, and described how that act made him "more confident" in telling others as well, including his teammates and later the public in an emotional post to social media.

"Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay," he posted to Twitter and Instagram in July, becoming the first out player under NHL contract to do so.

He spoke of how his phone lit up with positive messages less than a minute after his post went live. He even got a call of support from Sir Elton John.

"We just had a really good conversation," Prokop recalled in July. "He congratulated me, just asked me how the day was, how the support was, and then he thanked me for being brave and coming out. It was a really cool conversation."

For now, Prokop is enjoying life and has high hopes for the NHL.

"I think there's a lot of opportunity in the game of hockey right now," he said on Breaking Ice. "I mean, it's only I think a matter of time before someone else comes out as well."

You can watch the complete debut episode of Breaking Ice featuring out NHL prospect Luke Prokop below.

RELATED | Hockey Player, Brock Weston, Comes Out as Gay After Rumors

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