Why our issues with NHL individuality could keep gay players from coming out (Puck Daddy)
During the touching (and wholly deserved) public outpouring of adoration and respect for now-retired Detroit Red Wings' defender Nicklas Lidstrom — who was, according to nearly everyone, so truly the embodiment of class that "classes" in several Michigan school districts should rightly be called Lidstroms — Ken Holland gave Lidstrom a great compliment.
Holland called Lidstrom a "no-maintenance" player.
It was a great quote, a testament to Lidstrom's ability to drive the Red Wings' success without ever making himself the centre of attention, and it was trumpeted as a model for present and future NHL players. But at the same time, it's important to note that the Lidstrom approach isn't for everybody. Not every player is muted, and I think it does a disservice to progress to trumpet Lidstrom's quiet way as the only way.
Most notably, I can't help but think that if I were a gay hockey player, it's sentiment of this sort that would make me wary to come out.
Who wants to stand out in a league where standing out is perceived as a problem? The league wants no-maintenance players, and the disclosure of an alternate sexuality is going to require maintenance.
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