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Brent Sopel will bring Stanley Cup to Chicago Pride Parade

Jun 23, 2010, 11:50 AM EDT

sopelwithcup.jpgGay rights have been coming up in hockey talk more than ever the last few years, especially during the 2009-10 season. Sadly, one of the biggest stories involved the death of Brian Burke’s son, Brendan. Still, there are some bright spots too; take, for instance, the fact that Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel will appear with the Stanley Cup in tow during Sunday’s Chicago Pride Parade.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the Chicago Gay Hockey Association contacted the Blackhawks on a whim, not expecting to get a positive response. Naturally, that attempt ended up yielding a great result for gay rights and the sport of hockey.

Last week, the Chicago Gay Hockey Association issued an invite to the Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup to join them at the parade.

They were hopeful, but “we know the realistic chances of them joining us for the Pride Parade are slim,” CGHA President Andrew Sobotka told Sneed last week.

It was a different story Monday, when Sneed delivered the news. “We are thrilled and honored for them to consider and accept our request,” said Sobotka. “It’s just the news we wanted to hear. For the Blackhawks to do this is amazing. It is wonderful to know everyone is helping to make 2010 a year to break down barriers.”

Brian Burke is also planning on marching during the event.

To be fair, the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t the only team who will be involved in the parade. Michael Sneed reports that the Chicago Cubs plan on sponsoring a float featuring all-time great Cub Ernie Banks.

It’s great to see these teams get involved in the parade. Hopefully this is a sign that the future is bright for tolerance in sports.

  1. Jeff - Jun 23, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    James o brian is a sicko if he thinks we are going to tolerate queers ruining sports now!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Dani - Jun 23, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    *O’Brien, knuckledragger.
    Super classy move by the Hawks. Good to see.

  3. Laney - Jun 23, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Jeff, that sounds pretty similar to what people said when Jackie Robinson started playing baseball.

  4. Natron - Jun 23, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Jeff is obviously both tolerant and articulate.

  5. EricSF - Jun 23, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Jeff,sounds like someone droppedthe S.Cup on you head or are you just the regular run-of-the-mill bigot?

  6. Robin - Jun 23, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Jeff,
    1st “sicko” is not a word. 2nd the word “queer” is very 1985. 3rd you should not speak for everyone because it is obvious your views are very harsh&ignorant, I’m not saying you aren’t entitled to your own opinion but grouping everyone together makes us all sound like uneducated hillbillies(I know this because I grew up in a small town in Texas so uneducated hillbillies were a dime a dozen). Lastly and most importantly I’m married to an ex-pro hockey player so I just want you to know that if you think “the queers”,as you like to call people who are in same sex relationships, are just now joining sports you have been living under a rock or u really are that ignorant. It’s not like in 1980 a switch was flipped to change peoples sexual preference, this has always existed sorry to burst your “queer-free bubble”!! You probably should avoid all sports bc “the queers” play them ALL!! A true sports fan would never let anything ruin the game, u either love it or not it doesnt matter who the goalie is sleeping w/as long as he stops the puck, right!?! One last thing since your such a hockey fan & so worried about the sport being ruined do you even know what power play the Hawks ran in the playoffs, was it “the umbrella” or “overload”? Just wondering did you jump on the bandwagon the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs? Enjoy watching that beautiful trophy marching down the streets of Chicago w/a rainbow flag draped on it next to a man in high heels and a mini-skirt!:)

  7. CJ - Jun 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    This is just another example of gay rights being twisted into the minds of our youth. Why the hell should being gay even be acknowledged in sports?? Who cares! Should I invent a f**kin’ “Straight Parade” now and have people recognize me because I actually know what the natural thing is to do with my d**k?? I am soooo sick and tired of hearing about gay rights. Where’s my f**kin’ rights not to hear the gay pride bulls**t? Maybe I should start walking around saying everyone needs to respect and listen to me because I love women. Maybe hockey players should start being a bit more soft. Stop hitting so hard so players don’t chip their f**in’ nails. WAKE UP AMERICA!! This s**t is so far gone about supporting gays. Shame on you Sopel. You were along for the free ride to the Cup anyway with your soft hits and out of position plays.

  8. Lily - Jun 23, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Robin – I heart you!
    The only issue I have with the cup being in the Chicago Pride Parade is that it isn’t going to be in the Philly Pride Parade – sorry Flyers fan here – still hurts a tad : (
    This is an awesome step toward equality when a traditionally ‘straight’ and ‘macho’ sport chooses to support GLBT rights – Way to go Blackhawks!

  9. LT - Jun 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    UH CJ seriously? You know the Brenden Burke situation right? You see they are not asking for special rights, they are asking for civil rights. You know, the same rights given to everyone ELSE who pays their taxes and fights in our military. You dont want to hear about gay rights anymore? Well that is an easy thing to stop.
    Just give them the same right afforded to you.
    Also how stereotypical are you. Because they are gay, they will bodycheck softer? Is your only experiance with gay people, really bad 80’s movies?
    Also don’t be dissing Brent Sopel, his goal in the Philly series was a game and a series changer.

  10. hockeydoc - Jun 23, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Your comments provide the answers to your questions.
    “Why the hell should being gay even be acknowledged in sports??” Its
    acknowledged because people like you berate the ability of gay athletes with comments like “Maybe hockey players should start being a bit more soft. Stop hitting so hard so players don’t chip their f**in’ nails.” How does the intensity of a hit or broken fingernails have any relation to being gay?
    “Should I invent a f**kin’ “Straight Parade” now and have people recognize me because I actually know what the natural thing is to do with my d**k??” – No one is stopping you. That’s the beauty of America.
    “I am soooo sick and tired of hearing about gay rights. Where’s my f**kin’ rights not to hear the gay pride bulls**t?” – You do have those rights including the right ignoring my comments. I also have the right to ignore yours.
    “Maybe I should start walking around saying everyone needs to respect and listen to me because I love women. ” – I hope you will take your comment to hard and give that respect to everyone else regardless of who they love.

  11. CJ - Jun 23, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    LT….hey I enjoy bad 80’s movies! Don’t you be talkin’ junk about bad 80’s movies! Maybe you don’t agree with bad 80’s movies but I have every right to push it in your face about how you should like bad 80’s movies! They are just as important as good and respectable 80’s movies! Even though bad 80’s movies are distasteful and altogether wrong in nature…you should still accept them just like all other movies.
    By the way LT…what on God’s green earth have you been smokin cream puff??
    I quote you..”Also don’t be dissing Brent Sopel, his goal in the Philly series was a game and a series changer.”
    WHAT??? I thought I had already heard it all…now I definitely have. Brent Sopel is a slow skating, soft hitting, always caught out of position player. He is good at quick passes and jumping in front of a puck every now and then. Nothing more than what an “average” run of the mill modern day farm league player is able to do. Sopel gives up on plays too easy as well. I got news for ya sally boy…Sopel does not become a series changer because of one f**kin’ goal that he was more surprised then anyone went in.
    News flash…!!!Sopel has been traded!!! Gee…couldn’t have seen that comin’. Stay with your figure skating LT because you obviously don’t know a damn thing about hockey.

  12. CJ - Jun 24, 2010 at 12:55 AM

    HockeyDoc…I don’t really care who is straight or gay. I am sick and tired of gay issues being thrown in my face everytime I take a breath. WHO CARES! Get it?? If you want to be a pervert and go against all natural reasoning of human relationships…more power to you. Don’t f**kin’ tell me I should go along with your demented and sick views. Just like men that like to have sex with dogs or goats…it’s wrong…not supposed to happen. But it does…and it shouldn’t. If you want to play hockey…do so…I encourage it! Leave your sexuallity preferences at home. I don’t go out of my bedroom and announce to the world my sexuall preferences…why the hell should you? That’s a private matter. But not for gay people. Gays like to be obscene in nature and have no class. Have some class and keep your preferences in the bedroom. If everyone were gay human procreation would just stop and the end of the human race would be a result. But of course this is a silly concept to you right? Being gay is as normal as anything else huh?. You all give me the creeps with your tarnished brains.

  13. Alexandria - Jun 24, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    amen cj. amen

  14. George - Jun 24, 2010 at 5:58 AM

    Thank you CJ! I couldnt have put it any better myself. What has this world come to.

  15. hockeyplayer - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    i am so happy to see that the hawks and sopel are doing this! it is a great way to bring exposure about gays in sports and maybe we can finally quiet some of the bigots once they realize that gay people are everywhere, they are even professional athletes!

  16. CJ - Jun 24, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Once again…WHO CARES IF YOU ARE GAY!! I certainly don’t. What the f**k does being gay have to do with playing sports?? Wow…you gays are not only obscene but STUPID as well. Nobody cares if you play sports you simple minded twit! Why do you have to tell me you are a gay person that plays sports??? This is the senseless crap that drives people crazy! It’s not like you are supporting the fact that someone has one arm and plays sports or someone has MS and runs a marathon. You rip another man’s rearend open with your disgraceful acts of humanity and say…”Hey I play sports to.” Do you gays understand how dumb this makes you look. Why even bring your homosexual lifesyle into the hockey rink? I am speaking about rational thinking and reason. You gays are so damn wrapped up in being on a quest to let the world know you are gay that you involve it with everything you do. Think about how annoying it would be if I walked around and said things like…”I am a professional architect and I’m a straight man too” or “I like to travel and I like to have relationships with women as well”. People would just look at me and say..”Good for you jerk…why the hell are you telling me that you like women after everything you do and say?” This political correctness bulls**t has gone way to far and given gays the sense that they can be as obnoxious as they want with their outlandish attitudes. And if anyone responds to me please find something more creative and intelligent to say other than I’m a bigot. As I am proving with my words I am not a bigot…I am fed up with the obnoxious attitudes displayed by the gay community.

  17. Josh - Jun 25, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    Why is it that sexual politics have relevancy in sports, including and especially the NHL. It’s not the National Homosexual League, its athletes who put the puck in the net. This public display of affection for sexual minorities — gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transvestites, whatever — is just part of the homosexual agenda to try and make marriage between a man and a woman less relevant to families and our society. Say it ain’t so, Don Cherry.
    bravo to CJ.

  18. HockeyMama - Jun 26, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the guys with the juvenile, homophobic rants are the ones also saying ‘who cares’? Um, you and your biggoted buddies care. Care so much you’re trolling internet comment boards to make sure everyone knows just how much you hate gays. (And then ask why we need more acceptance of gays.) What’s ‘sick’ to me is the hostility, hatred and abuse directed at LGBT people because of your insecurity-based homosexual panic. Waaaaah, I have to live in a world with gay people in it! *Sniff* sniff* What about MY rights to make fun of queers? *sniff* Cry me an effin’ river. Happy Pride, y’all!

  19. hockeytown_boston! - Jul 1, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    hey CJ I feel bad for you… you think Gareth Thomas (google him you troglodyte) worries about his nails. there are statically more gay athletes than you think, it is pure statistics… and really if you couldn’t figure it out, it’s important for people to know because of people like you. you undoubtedly will, unfortunately breed one day, maybe just maybe if a professional athlete such as sopel has the wherewithal to show that it really doesn’t matter what your sexual preference is, that your kid might evolve a little more than you. go read some history books or old newspapers people were saying (probably your dad) the same thing about Women and African Americans. The point of the parade is that hopefully one day they wont need them.

  20. Chico - Jul 6, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    As if anyone knows who or what “Sneed” is. Don’t be cutesy, okay? If I wasn’t in the media, I wouldn’t have had any idea — and even I had to scratch my head — that you were talking about Michael Sneed, who even more annoying is a WOMAN. But then again, this IS about breaking down gender stereotypes, right, so why not? I guess the Blackhawks want to make up for putting up in their locker room “Pronger is Gay” and the paper wants to make up for putting “Chrissy” Pronger (there’s that name bending again) in a dress, huh?

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