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The Noon Number: Zero

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Zero - The number of openly gay hockey players in the history of the National Hockey League.

Don't confuse that number, however, with the number of gay hockey players that have been in the NHL. Homosexuality isn't rare, and you can be sure there have been gay players in the NHL before, but they simply haven't had the support necessary to present themselves as openly gay players. And that's a shame.

But the You Can Play Project is trying to end all that, and to incubate a more accepting atmosphere in hockey locker rooms in the NHL and the hockey world in general. The initiative of Patrick and Brian Burke, among others, in memory of the late Brendan Burke, has a simple message: If you can play, you can play, and the rest doesn't matter.

The video segment above includes some of the biggest names in the NHL, including Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson along with Claude Giroux, Henrik Lundqvist, Corey Perry, Rick Nash, Dion Phaneuf, and many more. They all support the message. So do I.

Because, at the end of the day, what difference does it make?

Read more about LGBT athletes in hockey over at Mile High Hockey, who published a great look at the past, present, and future of homosexuality in the NHL.