Hockey star Luke Prokop was starstruck when he got a phone call from Elton John, thanking him for bravely coming out as gay.
In July, Prokop became the first player on an NHL contract to come out as gay. The 19-year-old Nashville Predators prospect said in a statement posted to social media that the “past year and a half” had given him the “chance to find my true self”.
Since his heartfelt coming out, Prokop has received overwhelming support from within the hockey community and further abroad. One of the coolest moments, he said, came when music legend Elton John called to congratulate him.
The young athlete recalled the stunning moment in an interview with NHL.com.
“We just had a really good conversation,” Prokop said. “He congratulated me, just asked me how the day was, how the support was and then he thanked me for being brave and coming out.”
He added it was “really cool” for Elton John to reach out.
“To see someone that big, that famous, who has a humongous impact on the LGBTQ+ community to reach out and phone me and thank me for being brave and coming out and being able to help kids going through what I went through and allowing them to have someone to look up to, in a sense,” he said.
Prokop told NHL.com that the only person more excited about Elton John giving him a ring was his mum, who “started screaming” and “almost started breaking down”.
Luke Prokop has come out as gay. (Getty/ Derek Leung)
The teen said it’s a “known thing that homophobic slurs occur” – not just in hockey “but in all sports”. He hopes his coming out might “have an impact on that” and “help shift the language”.
“Since I’ve come out, I’m happy to say that I haven’t encountered any slurs,” Prokop said.
He told the Advocate that he’s had a great time living in Nashville and meeting his new team as well as continuing to get supportive messages from “around the NHL”.
“It’s been really cool to have received so many messages and support from around the NHL,” Prokop added. “I’m now concentrating on getting my game to its best level, making the team and hopefully having a productive season helping the Predators.”
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