Luke Prokop, the only publicly out gay athlete in men’s professional hockey, has been called up by the Milwaukee Admirals after a stellar start to the season with the Atlanta Gladiators.
And on Friday he played in a game for the Admirals, making him the first publicly out gay player ever in the AHL.
The Admirals’ game was at the Rockford Icedogs. The Admirals, won on the road in overtime, 5-4, elevating their record to 6-5. They are also now undefeated (1-0) with Prokop on the squad.
Prokop even earned a penalty for hooking. He’s now on the box score.
The AHL is the “final step” before a shot at playing in the NHL. He’s already broken that barrier in other minor leagues, including the ECHL with the Gladiators.
Currently there are no publicly out gay men playing in any of the major North American pro sports leagues. Kevin Maxen is an out coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.
The NHL has never had a current or former player come out publicly as gay or bi. If Prokop is able to break that barrier, he will have done so by rising up through the ranks of lower-tier hockey. He is under contract with the Nashville Predators, who drafted him with the 73rd pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.