Needless to say, I'm pleased about the You Can Play project, with its simple yet clear message encouraging equality for LGBT athletes: "If you can play, you can play." It's spearheaded by Flyers scout Patrick Burke, powerfully carrying on his brother Brendan's legacy. The fact that two Flyers (at least so far), Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, have taken part in the initial public-service announcement (see below) is even better.
(Hartnell's comments to the Philadelphia Daily News, by the way: "It was a no-brainer...we live in a diverse country. It's not a white man's sport. There's all sorts of nationalities in our sport. We encourage everyone to play. It's a great sport. Everyone has fun with it, especially when you're a kid. It's not just about sport, but you learn a lot of things about real life and becoming a team.")
I've been ambivalent about the Flyers this season because of the Wayne Simmonds preseason f-bomb incident. I do feel less ambivalent now, but I still can't entirely let go of it. The fact remains that after that game his stance was "you say things in the heat of battle" and the next day, on advice of -- well, who knows? NHL players' union? Team official? Agent? - he lied that he didn't saying it. The phony non-apology we often get in these situations would have been preferable to this. And it still bothers me that, at least for public consumption, Patrick Burke hasn't gone beyond what he was quoted as saying in the article I discussed in the above-linked post. I can understand why -- he works for the Flyers, after all -- but it still irks me.
Am I being too stubborn, or ridiculous? Is it too much to ask for Wayne Simmonds to at least be honest, if not contrite? Maybe at some point he should join the other players participating in the You Can Play videos. Maybe then I'd feel better.