TORONTO: Egale Canada, Canada’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) human rights organization, is extremely disturbed by the National Hockey League’s (NHL) failure to take action against homophobia within the game. There can be no question that Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds hurled a hateful, anti-gay slur during a pre-season game on Monday night, and the NHL must take responsibility and stand with other major league sports in their active and explicit opposition to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Incidents of anti-gay hate echo across all of society, causing lasting harm in the local rink, the classroom, and at home. “It’s time for one of Canada’s favourite pastimes to get with the times and directly address the issue of anti-gay discrimination on and off the ice,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. “There are many LGBT youth and athletes who remain hesitant to live openly, fearful of rejection by their coaches and peers. Today, the NHL has shamefully let them down.”
Egale urges the NHL to reconsider its response and clearly demonstrate that homophobic language is never acceptable and will not be tolerated.
Together with the United States-based Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Egale is encouraging supporters to take action through an online tool that calls on the NHL to take responsibility for the anti-gay actions of Wayne Simmonds. That tool is available here: www.glaad.org/tellnhl.
Egale Canada is Canada’s LGBT human rights organization: advancing equality, diversity, education, and justice.
About GLAAD: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, visit www.glaad.org.
For more information:
Helen Kennedy, Egale Canada, 416-964-7887 ext. 21