Former Ontario Hockey League player Brock McGillis came out as gay in a first person piece for Yahoo! Canada and he’s speaking out on the outpouring of support he’s received since doing so.
“I didn’t expect this,” McGillis said from his hometown of Sudbury, Ont. “This was on a whole different level. On Thursday the amount of messages I received – text messages, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram – I would say was almost in the 10,000 range.”
People he hasn’t heard from in years – including old teachers, friends, and former teammates – have reached out show their support.
“I had former teammates apologize and say, ‘I’m sorry if I ever made you feel uncomfortable.’ Or if they ever used language that offended or hurt me,” said McGillis. “I’ve had people who coach minor hockey say this is going to influence how they talk and the kind of language they allow their players to use.
”McGillis said he’s already met with Hockey Canada about the possibility of working with them to try and make hockey more inclusive at all levels of the sport. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has also reached out to see if he might be able to talk to their teams about changing a hockey culture that is often rife with toxic masculinity.
You can read more about the feedback Brock has received since coming out here.