Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad is fully supporting gay athletes and encouraging them to come out.
Ekblad appeared in a Nike commercial promoting LGBT pride in June of this year and is becoming more vocal regarding his support for LGBT athletes.
“It was a great experience,” Ekblad said in an interview with Boca Mag about the commercial.
“On Facebook and Twitter some people congratulated me and thanked me for speaking out. I appreciated that.”
Ekblad also has a strong message for LGBT athletes who may be afraid to come out.
“Don’t be afraid. You’ll be surprised by how many people are accepting,” he said.
“Do I think it’s getting better? I think so” Ekblad continued.
“People are getting more educated and more understanding,” he says. “I would like to think the climate is getting better.”
“If you’re good enough to play, you’re good enough to play on my team,”
Ekblad is also hoping that the Nike commercial helps in some way.
“I hope it helps a little bit,” Ekblad said.
“I’m just trying to do my part on helping people become more accepting.”
BETRUE TO EQUALITY.
Nike is proud to celebrate the LGBTQ community and Pride Month with this year’s BETRUE collection. #betrue #equality pic.twitter.com/jRAkjqSyrM
— Nike Los Angeles (@NikeLA) June 5, 2017