Another professional athlete has come out as gay!
Jon Lee-Olsen is the goalkeeper for Rungsted Seier Capital in Rungsted, Denmark. Recently, the 27-year-old professional ice hockey player came out as gay through an interview with the Danish news program Go’ aften.
“There’s a risk that some people might shout and heckle me while I’m playing matches. It’s something I have to be ready for, and be mature about. But I feel that I’m ready to show that you can be gay and play ice hockey,” said Lee-Olsen said [in Danish]. “It took longer than I expected, but now I’m ready to stand up for myself and others.”
Lee-Olsen also shared that he came out to his teammates over text messages and received solid support.
“[My teammates] wrote that they had great respect for the fact that I dared to say it,” Lee-Olson said,” and that I was still just me.”
This makes Lee-Olsen the first professional male ice hockey player to come out as gay in Denmark. That said, he is the third professional male ice hockey player to come out as gay after Sweden’s Lars Peter Karlsson and Canada’s Brendan Burke.
NHL player and Danish native Lar Eller of the Washington Capitals expressed his full support of Lee-Olsen coming out while talking to Sport2.
“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’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.”
He later added, “It’s special. You might say that about any sport, but ice hockey has a very macho culture, so I think it must not have been an easy decision for him. It’s very brave,” he said about the announcement.