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Blackhawks Bringing Stanley Cup to Chicago Gay Pride Parade

Jun 22, 2010 – 10:38 AM
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Christopher Botta

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Brent SopelBravo, Brent Sopel and the Chicago Blackhawks.

The champions of the National Hockey League are proving to be champions of open-mindedness. They have accepted an invitation from the Chicago Gay Hockey Association to be part of the city's Gay Pride Parade on Sunday. Sopel, a Blackhawks defenseman, is bringing his family and the Stanley Cup.

"I'm honored to do it," Sopel told the Chicago Sun-Times.

He added that his participation is also in memory of Brendan Burke, the openly gay son of Toronto Maple Leafs president Brian Burke. Brendan was killed in an auto accident earlier this year.

The Stanley Cup will be in Los Angeles this week for events surrounding the NHL Draft. On Saturday, it will be shipped to Chicago at the request of Blackhawks president John McDonough.

"The power of the Cup is incomprehensible, and we recognize the importance of doing this," McDonough said in a statement. "It's important for the city and important for the franchise."

This is certainly a first for an NHL team. To bring the Stanley Cup, and have a player stand alongside the trophy in the Gay Pride Parade of one of America's biggest cities, is a powerful statement.

"For the Blackhawks to do this is amazing," said Chicago Gay Hockey Association president Andrew Sobotka. "It is wonderful to know everyone is helping to make 2010 a year to break down barriers."
Filed under: Sports