Braden Holtby, Vezina-winner and Stanley Cup champion, was invited to speak at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on September 13.
Braden and his wife Brandi have been LGBTQ advocates and HRC supporters for many years. In his speech, Braden shared the story of how his family came to support the cause, and what it meant for him and for his team to join the fight for equality.
Here are Holtby’s full remarks.
Several years ago, my wife Brandi and I celebrated our honeymoon in San Francisco. While wandering through the Castro District, we happened upon the San Franciso Human Rights Campaign Action Center and Store. Located in Harvey Milk’s old camera shop, actually. We loved meeting the staff and learning about the work of the incredible organization. We left the shop with two HRC bumper stickers, and both put them on our cars and proudly wore them on there.
A friend of ours spotted the two HRC stickers on our car[s], and invited us to the National Dinner, probably four years ago now. We were so moved by the stories we heard, and inspired by the love in the room, that we joined the Federal Club. Brandi and I are proud to support HRC, and we’re proud to stand with all ofyou.
And I’m proud that three of my teammates are here with me as well.
We worked hard to bring the Stanley Cup to Washington DC, and we take all of you on that journey with us. And we are proof that supporting LGBTQ equality is a winning decision, and we’re honored to stand here with you in the fight.
The fight for equality within the NHL has been a challenging one. Recently, Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson talked homophobia in hockey and the importance of changing the culture of the community as a whole.
When Holtby said in his speech that three of his teammates were at the event as well, they received a round of applause from the HRC crowd. Outsports picked up the story and highlighted all of the players involved.
— Outsports (@outsports) September 18, 2018
The Capitals weren’t the only representatives for DC sports. Joanna Lohman, a midfielder for Washington Spirit soccer club, attended with her partner, Ashley Platz. Lohman suffered an ACL injury during the 2017 season, but returned in March of 2018. She also helped launch the organization GO! Athletes, the first national network dedicated to Educating, Engaging and Empowering every generation of LGBTQ Athletes and Allies.
— Joanna Lohman (@JoannaLohman) September 15, 2018
After his speech, Holtby introduced the openly gay Olypmic medalist, Adam Rippon. The two skaters embraced as they exchanged places on the podium.
Headline photo: Human Rights Campaign
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