Assist from Elton

Elton John recently picked up a monumental NHL assist, a helper much bigger than hockey.

Last month, 19-year-old Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop became the first player under NHL contract to come out as gay. The next day, he received a phone call of support from the legendary singer-songwriter.

“He congratulated me, just asked me how the day was, how the support was, and then he thanked me for being brave and coming out,” said Prokop, a defenseman.

“It was really cool for someone to do that kind of really outside of the hockey world. To see someone that big, that famous, who has a humongous impact on the LGBTQ+ community to reach out and phone me and thank me for being brave and coming out and being able to help kids going through what I went through and allowing them to have someone to look up to, in a sense. He thanked me for that. I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand how cool that was and how important that was that he called me.”

When I got my start in PR in 1990, my boss was Elton’s longtime publicist. Over the years, I worked a couple of his epic Academy Awards parties, but I didn’t have much interaction with him. I certainly never heard of him taking any interest in hockey. What Elton did for Prokop, and others like him, goes far beyond the game. That kind of class, thoughtfulness, genuine care and leadership is what earned him a knighthood and the deserved title of Sir Elton John.

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