For Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson and defenceman Mark Borowiecki the choice to walk in Sunday's Capital Pride March was an easy one.
"For me, it's just always seemed obvious to support inclusivity," said Nilsson. "I've been able to take part in similar events in the past so it's great that myself and other guys from the team can join in and show our support."
Borowiecki, who was appointed as the team's You Can Play ambassador, a non-profit organization committed to supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting homophobia in sports, echoed Nilsson's message about the importance of showing their support to one of the city's oft-overlooked communities.
"I was approached early in the year about the ambassador role with the NHL and I was 100% on board right away," said Borowiecki. "My wife Tara and I are big believers that everyone deserves to be loved and has the right to decide who they love. I think it's important for us to take part in events like this and to show that we're committed and behind the LGBTQ community in Ottawa."
WinterPride's Capital Pride March is free to the public and set to depart on Sunday from the Centennial Flame at 12:30 p.m. Fans and participants are encouraged to bring flags, posters, signs or "anything to demonstrate what's important to you as a member of the LGBTQ community and/or ally".
The newest Sens netminder has long been active when it comes to equality and social justice and has found a unique way to display his support every time he steps on the ice. Nilsson unveiled his Senators-themed goalie mask following the NHL's All-Star Break and it prominently features a raindow flag on the back portion.
"Having that little flag on my helmet can mean a lot to a lot of people," said Nilsson. "It's a small gesture but I think it's important for me to show my support."
Along with their participation in Sunday's march, the Senators will hold their first "Love is Love" game this Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes as part of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone campaign during the month of February to celebrate and show support the city's LGBTQ community.
"It's so important to be inclusive across all communities and groups," said Borowiecki. "Our job on the ice is entertainment and about including everyone. It doesn't matter who you are...you're allowed to be a part of our team and our community and in turn we're going to support you too."
For more details on tomorrow's WinterPried Capital Pride March click here.