SUNRISE (CBSMiami) — The Florida Panthers will host an event at the BB&T center Saturday night for gay players and fans. The Panthers team is one of the first teams to incorporate a new “You Can Play” project that was introduced by the NHL.
The invitation is extended to all of the national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
“I think it’s very important, it’s natural. Our society is so diverse now and the sporting world, including hockey, we have like everybody, accepted everybody from all different backgrounds,” said Randy Moeller, a Panthers broadcaster.
“Kids today and adults need to feel comfortable playing all types of sports. It doesn’t matter what your background is, it’s all about diversity, and that’s where I think the Panthers have always been that way,” Moeller added.
Panther defenseman Brian Campbell has already taken part in the “You Can Play” project by being featured in a video promoting the position of inclusion throughout the league.
“You know it was something that I believe in, that everyone should believe in. Pretty much sums it up with what is says: No matter who you are, what you are, and what you believe in, if you’re good to go and play, they you should be out there playing,” said Campbell.
The project was founded by NHL Director of Player Safety Patrick Burke whose older brother Brendon came out three months before losing his life in an automobile accident. Now, his work in the LGBT community is impacting hockey in a meaningful way.
“If it’s going to make our team a better team or the league or anything, I think it’s a great program and give a lot of credit to the people who all started it up,” added Campbell.