Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Brock McGillis aims for inclusion

The Player's Own Voice podcast connects with Brock McGillis, the first openly gay male pro hockey player, who is fighting to fix the homophobia that blighted his own experience in the sport.

First openly gay male pro hockey player working to rid sport of racism, homophobia

Brock McGillis, seen at RuPaul's DragCon earlier this year in London, England, has built a business teaching teams and leaders how to achieve better inclusivity. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images )

Brock McGillis loves a good old hockey game. 

His total passion for stopping every puck drove the goalie all the way to a professional career. But McGillis is a gay man in a sport whose culture does not readily accept homosexuality.

And so McGillis turned his own miserable experiences, which ran up against the sport's culture, into a working practice to help leagues everywhere become more inclusive.

McGillis believes cultures can learn and change. He is determined to mend environments — mostly in hockey — where racism and homophobia are the unspoken norm. 

As he explains to Anastasia Bucsis, host of the Player's Own Voice podcast, inclusion goes far beyond outward displays of rainbow stickers and BLM hashtags. It's all about teaching influencers in the locker room and the boardroom to see and hear beyond their often insular surroundings. Humanizing "the other" is a great first step.

As the first gay man to openly be out in pro hockey, McGillis has made himself a clear mission: to use advocacy and education to help sports change for the better.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. To listen to all three seasons, subscribe for free on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.


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