Luke Prokop is a 19-year-old goaltender prospect of the Nashville Predators in the NHL. He’s had a busy Monday morning for sure after publishing a picture of a letter on his Instagram page announcing his “coming out,” as reactions didn’t take long to pour in! His team’s official page was actually one of the first to comment on the news.
What Prokpo Detailed In His Letter
@lukeprokop_ / Instagram
Prokop really got straight to the point. He mentioned in the letter that this last year and a half had been crazy for him. In the midst of the pandemic riddled year, he was, in his own words, able to find himself. The decision to come out was made because he mentions that he now feels more comfortable with “who he is”. He also mentioned that he wants to set a precedent to make sure people know that gay people are welcomed in hockey!
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Reactions From Around The Hockey World
Are gay people really welcomed in hockey? Well, so far so good. In Luke’s Instagram post his team the Nashville Predators were one of the first to comment. The team’s official page mentioned, “All of Smashville is behind you, Luke!”. The NHL’s official page also made a comment on the IG post, saying, “The entire NHL supports you, Luke!”. Of course, those are not two of the most enthusiastic comments on the post. Different NHL players and plenty of NHL hopefuls slid into the comment section to share their support.
The Biggest Difference Between Him & Carl Nassib
Obviously, when Luke Prokop used Instagram to come out the first comparison that was made was between him and Carl Nassib. Nassib is again famously, the first active NFL player to publicly come out. At the time we mentioned why Michael Sam couldn’t reach that distinction. Sam was never on an active in-season roster in the NFL.
Luke Prokop’s situation is much more similar to Sam’s than to Nassib’s. Nassib has a contract that means the Raiders would have to pay him off if they wanted to get rid of him. Both Sam, Prokop really don’t.
Is This Putting The NHL On Thin Ice?
Contract-wise this news isn’t exactly ideal for the NHL. Having their first openly gay player be a prospect. Although Prokop is “contracted” to the NHL’s Nashville Predators he’s still on the outside looking in. It’s like he’s under a minor league contract. What happens if his play on the ice isn’t good enough? Should his team just keep him around to avoid the backlash of releasing him? As we mentioned, so far so good for the NHL. They’ve supported Prokop on social media. The team is probably hoping and praying he can blossom into an awesome goaltender if not this sweet story can turn really sour!