Edmonton Oilers captain Andrew Ference announced Tuesday he will march in the Edmonton Pride parade as a representative of the You Can Play team, along with the University of Alberta's Camp fYrefly youth leadership program.
The parade will take place Saturday.
The partnership for the parade was reached as a result of YCP's recent partnership with the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS), and is an extension of YCP's partnership with the NHL.
"You Can Play has fundamentally changed the way the NHL players think and act. We understand the important role we can play in ending discrimination within sports and society and I feel honored to be able participate in events with them and Camp fYrefly including Edmonton's Pride Parade," Ference said. "When we work, play and live together without discrimination it makes our entire community stronger and more productive."
"We are grateful for Andrew's relentless support for You Can Play and the ideals we work to instill in sports. Bringing professional athletes together with LGBTQ youth benefits everyone: the athletes, the young people, the University of Alberta, and the city of Edmonton. We look forward to celebrating inclusion and acceptance with everyone during Pride," said Patrick Burke, president of You Can Play.
Ference, an Edmonton native, signed with the Oilers last summer. The 35-year-old has played more than 800 NHL games and was a member of the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2011.