In an article from ESPN.com NHL reporter Ryan S. Clark, Seattle Kraken assistant athletic trainer Justin Rogers announced publicly that he is day, becoming what is believed to be the first openly gay member on an NHL team's bench.
The story examines his journey to becoming comfortable enough to finally let someone in his profession know, the very first being Kraken general manager Ron Francis.
"I think it was more at that point, he felt that it was kind of time to tell his story," Francis said. "I said, 'Let's figure out how to help you do that.'"
Rogers is hopeful that by telling his story, he can empower others to be more comfortable and open with their identities within the game.
Rogers' brings good publicity to the subject
Rogers' decision to announce his sexual identity comes in the wake of the NHL receiving some self-served bad PR within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Last season players and teams nixed Pride Jersey warmup sweaters in separate instances. This summer, commissioner Gary Bettman banned specialty sweaters altogether and in October placed a ban on players using Pride tape on their stick, though that was eventually overturned following ample backlash.
Source: Justin Rogers' journey to being out as gay and working in the NHL