Hockey is a sport that’s for everyone

Megan Anderson, Staff Writer

One book that has been on the shelves among many other graphic novels is “Check Please! Book 1: # Hockey.” Although it was published in 2018, I had not even heard about it. Surprising, considering it involves two awesome and super cool things: hockey and LGBTQ themes. The author had come up with the concept while writing a screenplay for hockey. She studied up on the sport and fell in love with it, and the bro culture that comes with it. The main characters are two young gay men on a college hockey team.
Although it is not as obvious at first with its gay themes as other LGBTQ graphic novels, that’s the beauty of it. It focuses on a hobby and sport loved by many people, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. This comic book that I found on a shelf at the bookstore reflects a bigger real-life movement by the NHL and fans of the sport: the “Hockey Is For Everyone” movement.
On the NHL’s official website, it describes this campaign as “Hockey is For Everyone” using the game of hockey – and the League’s global influence – to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities. Taking a look at this internet page made me realize they are not just all talk, either. Below the slogan are different sections of marginalized groups that may or may not have grown up with hockey in their communities.
From communities of color, such as African Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, to the LGBTQ community to hockey players with disabilities, they made an effort to make hockey a fun experience.
Many hockey players, both current and former, have come out as gay. Considering it is celebrated in an organized sport, rather than hidden, is a good sign of progress.
Even here in Madison, Wisconsin we have our own LGBTQ hockey association named the Madison Gay Hockey League Association. They accept all skill levels of hockey, even if you haven’t stepped foot on ice and are a totally new player, they’ll teach you. I recommend taking a look at it for anyone interested in starting hockey.