CHICAGO: Hockey's Stanley Cup Trophy To Be Hoisted At Gay Pride Parade
Representatives of the Chicago Blackhawks will bring their just-won Stanley Cup trophy to this year's pride parade.
Blackhawk defenseman Brent Sopel has volunteered to represent the team. "I am honored to do it," said Sopel, who will be accompanied by wife, Kelly, and his four kids, Jacob, 12, Lyla, 8, Jayla, 6, and Paul, 20, whom they adopted three years ago after Paul's parents died within six months of each other. "The power of the Cup is incomprehensible, and we recognize the importance of doing this," said McDonough, who has arranged for the Stanley Cup to be flown back from the National Hockey League draft in Los Angeles 15 hours early. "It's important for the city and important for the franchise."Sopel says he will also be marching with the Cup in honor of Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, who was killed in a car accident shortly after coming out last year. Sopel: "When Brendan came out, Brian stood by him, and his whole family stood by him, like every family should. We teach our kids about accepting everybody. Tolerate everybody, to understand where everyone is coming from."
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."