Former Chicago Blackhawks Carcillo, Mayers Attend Pride Parade
By Colin Likas
Two former Chicago Blackhawks got themselves involved in Chicago’s Pride Parade on Sunday, along with members of the current staff
Today, former Chicago Blackhawks forwards Daniel Carcillo and Jamal Mayers took part in the Chicago Pride Parade along with members of the current staff.
The Blackhawks’ Twitter account documented the team’s representation at the event, which celebrates and recognizes the LGBTQ community. There were 150 float entries, among them one for the Blackhawks, and the theme was “Viva la Vida and Stand Up, Stand Proud.”
Carcillo and Mayers walked in the parade carrying a rainbow flag adorned with the Blackhawks’ logo. The flag was supported by a pair of hockey sticks while the duo wore shirts that said “Chicago Pride 2017” next to a version of the rainbow flag made out of hockey sticks.
I think this is a great way for the Blackhawks to get out in the community and show support for a group that constantly faces an uphill battle. Carcillo has been very active in community work, both within the NHL and beyond it, since retiring a few years ago. Mayers, still an analyst on Comcast SportsNet, also seems to be up for anything and everything the Blackhawks do so far as community outreach.
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This continues a “tradition” started in 2010, when defenseman Brent Sopel brought the Stanley Cup to the Chicago Pride Parade. This was a major moment for both the Blackhawks and the LGBTQ community, especially with community outreach not exactly flowing in general prior to Rocky Wirtz taking ownership of the team.
Where are the current players?
Of course, there is a question to be asked upon seeing this: Where are all the current Blackhawks? Or even just one current Blackhawk?
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is a regular in his city’s pride parade. The NHL made an effort this last season to show inclusion by having You Can Play ambassadors on each team. The Blackhawks’ LGBTQ ambassador was Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was drafted by the Vegas Golden Knights a few days ago.
While you may not see NHL players flocking by the droves to pride parades, it’s curious the Blackhawks would have two former players show up and not one current athlete. Second City Hockey wondered about this as well:
I tend to agree with SCH on all accounts here. You shouldn’t force anyone to do something they don’t want to do, even relating to community outreach.
But did the Blackhawks even reach out to any of their players to see if they’d want to attend? Were they just banking on TVR attending as the team’s LGBTQ ambassador, and in the flurry of the weekend they slipped up on replacing him with an active player? Or was the plan all along just to have Carcillo and Mayers in attendance with staffers?
Regardless, it’s great the Blackhawks had a presence at the pride parade. However, I think it would be really great moving forward for the team to send at least one active athlete to the event as well.
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As divisive as it can be, I think it’s important for organizations that have as much community pull as the Blackhawks to show their support for groups like the LGBTQ community. The team’s active players show ample support for various charities and hockey programs, as documented in videos and annual fundraisers. I think it’d be plenty appropriate for them to jump into this venture as well, starting next year.