Brad Marchand named LGBTQ ambassador
Partnering with organizations like You Can Play, the National Hockey League has been pretty open-minded in supporting and protecting the LGBTQ community.
In its effort to continue to spread awareness, the league recently announced its first 30 LGBTQ ambassadors earlier this week. One of those names includes the Bruins’ own Brad Marchand.
“When I was asked it was something that right away it’s something that I’m happy to be a part of,” Marchand said about the honor after Friday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “It’s good to get the word out there that there’s a lot of support in the hockey community and, you know, we want to show that.”
Getting the word out about this particular issue is something Marchand has been doing over the past few months.
Following the Bruins’ win over the Sabres in Buffalo on December 29, Marchand responded to a homophobic tweet from a Twitter user. Soon after Marchand’s response, the user @DJ_Redd_Baron deleted his twitter account.
This derogatory statement is offensive to so many people around the world your the kind of kid parents are ashamedof https://t.co/sfVcEOPC4J
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) December 30, 2016
“I just feel that there are so many people on Twitter that are allowed to say and do whatever they want and we’re in the spotlight,” Marchand said to the media about the tweet prior to the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Sabres on New Year’s Eve.
“It’s tough to respond because we get criticized way beyond what we probably should. I just figured most people, they can say whatever they want behind their keyboard. They never have to answer for it and they’re not used to the backlash that comes with what they say, too.”
A couple of weeks later in a Q&A with ESPN’s Joe McDonald, Marchand didn’t hesitate with thoughts on whether or not a team in the NHL would accept and support a player coming out. There’s statistics to prove that. As recent as 2015, of the 35 players who were polled by USA Today, 34 would accept a gay teammate.
“Guys would accept that, no question. We’re a team in the [dressing] room and a family. It doesn’t matter what different beliefs guys have, or where they come from, or whatever the case may be. Guys would accept it,” Marchand told McDonald. “Again, in the room, we’re a family. That’s the way it is on a hockey team, and that’s the way it will always be.
For a guy who plays the game with an edge, Marchand’s off-ice generosity is something that is also making headlines – and for all the right reasons.