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National Hockey League prospect and player Luke Prokop just made history after coming out as gay on Monday.
In a heartfelt message posted on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, the 19-year-old third-round 2020 NHL draft pick opened up about his sexuality, publicly confirming to his followers and supporters that he is an out and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
\u201c\u2764\ufe0f\ud83e\udde1\ud83d\udc9b\ud83d\udc9a\ud83d\udc99\ud83d\udc9c\u201d— luke prokop (@luke prokop) 1626701472
"It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out," he wrote in his message. "From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams."
According to ESPN, the Edmonton, Alberta native (who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators back in December and who previously played for the Calgary Hitmen) is the first active player signed under an NHL contract to come out as gay, a decision he made back in April.
"I was lying in bed one night, had just deleted a dating app for the fourth or fifth time, and I was extremely frustrated because I couldn't be my true authentic self," Prokop told ESPN. "In that moment I said, 'Enough is enough. I'm accepting who I am. I want to live the way I want to, and I want to accept myself as a gay man.'"
The professional sports world has become a much more inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly place to be, recently. Just last month, Raiders player Carl Nassib made history as the first active gay player in National Football League history to come out while signed to a team.
"What's up people," Nassib said in his Instagram video. "I'm at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania. I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay. I've been meaning to do this for a while now but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for."
It's voices like Luke's and Carl's that will help inspire the next generation of LGBTQ+ athletes to live life as their most authentic selves, and we absolutely love to see it! Congrats on living your truth, Luke! And welcome to the family!