Scrivens, Brown hope NHL players would have a gay teammate’s back
TSN’s latest original documentary feature is a three-part series that explores the evolving relationship between North American sports culture and being gay. It’s called “ReOrientation.” The first part airs January 15.
“ReOrientation” examines casual homophobia in sports and tries to determine what professional sports has to do next to continue to move forward. The last part speaks with active and retired players — gay and straight — to get their perspectives. TSN’s already posted one preview clip that features Kings captain Dustin Brown and goaltender Ben Scrivens. In it, they discuss whether hockey players being discouraged from causing individual distractions and told to blend in to promote team unity factors into what keeps gay athletes from coming out.
Brown: “Hockey players in general are very unselfish, and maybe that is the thought process — ‘I don’t want to draw attention away from the team or the game.’ But I’d also like to think that hockey players in general are the type of guys who’ll back each other up.”
Also featuring Scrivens’ big, pretty eyes.
Scrivens: “You don’t have to make it a distraction. And the guys are gonna have your back. There’s plenty of stuff — and you can attest to this — ‘this stuff stays in the room, and nobody hears about it.’ And that could potentially be a case where, ‘listen, guys, I’ve got to tell you something. I’m gonna be straightforward with you and whatever. This is the situation. I don’t want to be a distraction. Keep it within the room.’ And I can almost guarantee it wouldn’t — unless the player decided that he wanted to go public with it, I would say that it wouldn’t make it out.”
I’m a sucker for well-produced documentary pieces and also seeing teams I support on the side of inclusivity and progress, so I’m glad that some LA Kings players are involved in this. It isn’t the first time the Kings have shown support for gay athletes in the NHL. Brown and Alec Martinez also participated in a You Can Play ad during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The entire TSN docu-series will be posted to YouTube after it airs on television. So, even those of us who can’t watch TSN can check it out online.