By now you've probably read or heard about the You Can Play (YCP) Project - an effort to eliminate homophobic and sexuality-based slurs from the game we all know and love. YCP put out a great youtube video (featured above) with dozens of NHLers either in it or volunteering to participate in future projects, but a public service announcement alone isn't going to stem the tide.
Casual homophobia isn't an NHL problem - it's a hockey problem. It's not limited to the whiteboards of NHL teams, nor to the upper bowl at that "classless" rival's stadium, and you don't need to be an expert lip reader to witness it. Instead, to quote Patrick Burke, "it's the guy who says "That's so gay" when he means "That's stupid." It's the guy who says "Don't be a fag" instead of "don't be an asshole."" From bantams to beer-league, you've heard it, and it's costing the sport talented players and insightful fans.
So I'd like to put together another YCP video - one starring the fans. Throw on a jersey from any team and level, take a brief video of yourself (or maybe of you and your team), either with a unique message or a pledge of "If you can play, you can play", and email it to YCPfans@gmail.com. When you're done with that, actually mean it. It's easy to turn on your webcam, but it'll take an effort to break the habit of leaning on homophobic crutches, to stand up for teammates being bullied, or to coach a strictly tolerant locker room. But until we can all just sit back and say "remember when that was a big deal?" effort is exactly what the situation demands.
If you haven't seen or heard about Brian, Patrick, and Brendan Burke's recent efforts and inspirations towards improving the sport of hockey or if you're a LGBT individual looking for resources, you can catch up with the You Can Play Project at YouCanPlayProject.org. I am not affiliated with YCP.
(I'd also appreciate any thoughts people might have in terms of ways to best put this together, be it favorite (ideally free) video editing software or ideas for the video itself.)