By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com February 04 2011 1:55 PM ET
New York Rangers forward Sean Avery has a message for gay hockey players who are scared to come out: Pick up the phone and call him.
Avery, who is known to be one of the sporting world’s more liberal athletes, says he’d be more than happy to serve as a support system for a gay player.
"If there's a kid in Canada or wherever, who is playing and really loves the game and wants to keep playing but he's worried about coming out, I'd tell him to pick up the phone and call [NHLPA executive director] Donald Fehr and tell him to book me a [plane] ticket,” he told the Toronto Sun. "I'll stand beside him in the dressing room while he tells his teammates he is gay. Maybe if Sean Avery is there, they would have less of a problem with it."
Avery, who lived in West Hollywood when he played for the Los Angeles Kings and now lives in Chelsea, says he doesn’t see the big deal about having an openly gay athlete in professional sports.
He says there are "probably a few gay players in the NHL, but I don't know if somebody has the courage [to come out]."
Last month Avery stripped for designer Marc Jacobs to promote skin cancer awareness. He also made headlines in 2008 when he became an intern for Vogue magazine.