Ryan Kesler: You Can Play

Vancouver Canucks centre, Ryan Kesler, was plunged back into the hot pink spotlight on Monday when it was revealed by Patrick Burke (@BurkieYCP) that he would be the official Canucks representative for the You Can Play Project.

I had already learned this from a reliable source a week earlier, and may have inadvertently scooped Mr. Burke when a question I submitted to the After Hours show on CBC asking Chris Higgins about You Can Play and Ryan’s involvement was actually read on national TV! Ooops. How was I to know they’d actually read a question submitted by “Gay Canuck”?

Nevertheless, the announcement by Patrick confirmed Ryan’s dedication to the project and goals of You Can Play on behalf of the Canucks team, ending weeks of speculation by the gay hockey mainstream media. This will be followed up in a few weeks with a PSA that Ryan has already recorded.

It seems appropriate that Ryan is the official Canucks rep for YCP after so generously shedding his Underarmour for the ladies (+ gay boys) in a nude spread for ESPN Magazine’s Body issue last Fall. Not that a nude photo shoot is a pre-requisite for the job, but, let’s not discourage it!

However, Ryan isn’t the only Canucks player supporting You Can Play. Canucks Captain Henrik Sedin has also pledged his strong support in a video exclusive released by Xtra! West the same day. In the video, Xtra! West Editor Robin Perelle interviews both Ryan and Henrik, and at one point asks Henrik, “Do you support the line If you can play, you can play?” He answered:

“Absolutely. 100%. It’s a powerful message, and to have the Burke family doing this is great. I’m hoping it’s going to help a lot of people.”

Oh Captain, My Captain!

While I found Ryan’s answers to some of Robin Perelle’s questions to be a teensy bit awkward in a few places, I believe he and Henrik are both committed to assuring that an openly gay athlete would feel comfortable in the Canucks locker room. When asked if that would be true, Ryan replied: “We’re a big family here, and every single guy would be more than supportive.”

Every single guy? Well, I’m sure there are a few Canucks players who might not be quite so comfortable with an openly-gay teammate. Let’s see, who could that possibly be? Could it be … SATAN?! (Not Miroslav Satan, the funnier Satan).

The important thing is that, should an openly-gay hockey player appear on the Canucks team one day, it will be a non-issue for nearly all of his teammates. Until they become jealous of his perfect skin and flaxen hair.

Lesbians On Ice

No, this is not about Dorothy Hamill (she’s actually a gay man). It’s about the lesbian couple, Alicia and Christina, who got engaged at the Leafs/Senators game in Ottawa on centre ice on national TV!

As the crowd cheered them on and the goofy Senators mascot held up a sign that said “SHE SAID YES,” I thought what an amazing moment to witness as a gay hockey fan. But, then I realized the marriage is doomed because Alicia is a Maple Leafs fan and Christina is a Senators fan. Completely incompatible! And there’s nothing that threatens the sanctity of marriage more than inter-hockey-team relationships.

Coming Up

As the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs approach, you can feel the tension starting to mount. Especially as the Canucks continue to struggle ever since that dreaded Trade Deadline. Who’s fault is it? Luongo? The Sedins? The Green Men? I’ll have some answers in my next article.

About GayCanuck

A sassy gay Canucks fan who, when not swimming in his Fantasy Hockey Pool with Chris Higgins, Tyler Seguin and Gabe Landeskog, is making general mischief on Twitter: @GayCanuck
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