The NHL and NHL Players' Association formally announced a partnership with the You Can Play Project on Thursday afternoon.
The partnership will involve a significant commitment to education for teams, players, media and fans. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated that the partnership unequivocally displays the league's motto that hockey is for everyone. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr stated the union is pleased to formally join with You Can Play.
The project is the brainchild of Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke. You Can Play's mission is to continue education and support of the LGBT community. Over 100 NHL hockey players have already worked with the program and have supported the inclusion of gay teammates.
In addition to continued education, You Can Play will be integrated in the NHL and NHLPA's Behavioral Health Program, which will allow players to seek confidential counseling about matters of sexual orientation. You Can Play will also conduct seminars at the league's rookie symposium to inform young players about LGBT issues.