Danish outlet Sport2 recently ran a story with Jon Lee-Olson, goalie for Rungsted Seier Capital, who has become the first professional player in the Danish Metal Ligaen to come out as gay. Sport2 also spoke to Caps forward Lars Eller, who praised Lee-Olson and voiced support for gay players in general.
“I’ve played with a number of [gay hockey players]”, Eller tells Sport2, as translated by RMNB’s Magnus Cadelin. “I’m not surprised about it because I know [players] sometimes are [gay]. But to say it is another thing, and I’m sure it haven’t been easy on them. But they’re brave. It’s really needed – to get this taboo gone.”
Lee-Olson, who has played pro hockey in Denmark since 2013-14, tells Sport2 how he came out to his teammates over text message.
“[My teammates] wrote that they had great respect for the fact that I dared to say it,” Lee-Olson says,” and that I was still just me.”
Eller says that he hopes Lee-Olson’s story will make others feel safe in coming out if they wish to. “I have never had any problems about playing with a gay player”, Eller says. “I think it’s really brave to come out when you’re in this type of culture.
“I’ve played with more than one [gay player], both at junior level and senior, who didn’t come out but were gay. One of them came out later [after his career]. It’s not unusual for me.”
Eller is not alone in his response. Peter Regin, captain of the Danish national team, called Lee-Olson’s decision “strong and brave.”
Translation by Magnus Cadelin
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