Maple Leafs Bummed Unable to Draft Openly-Gay Player — “Missed PR Opportunity”
PHILADELPHIA — With the annual NHL draft of players over, the Toronto Maple Leafs said today they are mostly pleased with their picks but regret they couldn’t find a homosexual to add to their roster.
“There just weren’t any of them out there,” Leafs’ GM Dave Norris told ESPN and TSN.
“At least not that we could see.”
“Too bad. Would have been a fantastic public relations tool.”
While there has been wide speculation over the years by fans and sports analysts alike that there surely must be a gay pro athlete or two showering with the teams, professional sports only got their first openly practicing homosexual athlete when NBA player Jason Collins came out of his walk-in closet in 2013.
Not to be outdone, the NFL drafted its first gay player this year when the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam.
Major League Baseball says they are trying hard to get their own homosexual player.
“The National Hockey League is committed to having a gay player,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said prior to this year’s draft.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with gay people liking to play hockey. I’ve met some gays and they seem like nice young men with a good sense of humor.”
The NHL and Major League Soccer recently combined efforts to launch the You Can Play project aimed at wiping out homophobia in sports but the program has yet to meet with any success.
“We’ve had a few nibblers,” said Bettman.
“But no takers yet. We’ll get one. Just a matter of right-time right-gay-guy.”
Leafs’ coach Randy Carlyle said, while he’s disappointed in the team’s failure to sign a gay winger, defenseman or goalie, he thinks it will happen eventually and anticipates no issues in the locker room.
“If the guy is a good team player, nobody on the Leafs cares what his hobbies are,” said Carlyle.
“I must admit I’ve wondered about a few of our players but I don’t go sticking my nose in their bedroom business.”
Team captain Dion Phaneuf was not available for comment.
Reportering for The Lapine