The announcement Thursday that the NHL and the NHL Players' Association have formed an official partnership with the You Can Play Project drew an immediate reaction on Twitter.
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was among the most prominent to weigh in, saying, "I'm officially a hockey fan."
The You Can Play Project is an advocacy organization that fights homophobia in sports.
The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association announced the historic partnership Thursday, formalizing and advancing a long-standing commitment to make the NHL the most inclusive professional sports league in the world.
"The NHL sets the standard for professional sports when it comes to LGBT outreach and we are incredibly grateful for their help and support," said Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke, founder of the You Can Play Project. "We will work with League and NHLPA officials, teams and players to ensure that we create a more inclusive hockey community at all levels."
The official partnership with You Can Play includes a significant commitment to education and training for teams, players, media and fans, plus the production and broadcast of more public service announcements.
Here's a sampling of celebrities and NHL players who took to Twitter to express support for the initiative.
Ellen DeGeneres @TheEllenShow
Incredible. @NHL is partnering with @YouCanPlayTeam, an organization that fights homophobia in sports. I'm officially a hockey fan
David Boreanaz @David_Boreanaz
@YouCanPlayTeam and the @NHL join forces together to move forward. Support!
Perez Hilton @PerezHilton
@NHL NHL Goes Out Of Its Way To End Homophobia In Sports!
Colby Armstrong @armdog
@TheEllenShow @nhl @youcanplayteam it's about time Ellen #ellenfan #danceoff
Andrew Ference @Ferknuckle
A hockey teammate is like a brother and we include and support them no matter what. Proud to be working with @YouCanPlayTeam @NHL @NHLPA
Logan Couture @Logancouture
"@NHLPA: The NHLPA is proud today to announce a new partnership with @NHL and @YouCanPlayTeam http://ply.rs/jYiAI " Awesome
Kevin Westgarth @KWesty19
@NHLPA @nhl @youcanplayteam Very proud to formalize this partnership. Who you are should never affect what you can do. #YouCanPlay
Ben Scrivens @scriven_30
Very proud to be an @NHL player and @NHLPA member today with the announcement of the partnership with @YouCanPlayTeam. #YouCanPlay
Clay Aiken @clayaiken
Major props to the NHL!! http://youcanplayproject.org/videos/entry/you-can-play-macklemore-ryan-lewis … via @YouCanPlayTeam @nhlcanes #LetsGoCanes
George Parros @GeorgeParros
Gotta send the message that there is always room 4 heart and talent in sports and never 4 hate @YouCanPlayTeam @nhl @nhlpa #YouCanPlay
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