CHICAGO (CBS) — As the city comes down off its hockey high, a group of players in the Chicago area says the ice is still open to everyone.
The message of the Chicago Gay Hockey Association is summed up in a new video its members have posted online: If you can play, you can play … and you can win.
Group president Andrew Sobotka says the team is made up of women and men, gay and straight. He says the team is changing attitudes about LGBT people in hockey.
“We need a change to happen on all levels of the sport…so, youth hockey, professional hockey, adult recreational hockey,” he says.
Members of the team are active in the You Can Play project started by the family of former U.S. Olympic hockey team manager Brian Burke, whose openly gay son Brendan was killed in a car crash in 2010.
Sobotka says their video is designed to start a conversation about inclusion: “You Can Play is aiming to change culture within sports.”
Sobotka and other members of the CGHA will also have a special guest during today’s Pride parade: the Blackhawks’ mascot Tommy Hawk will march with the team.
It’s the latest partnership between the Hawks and the CGHA, which also put the Stanley Cup in the parade in 2010.
This year, the Cup is in New Jersey for the first day of the NHL Draft.