Monday, July 27, 2015

There are NO gay players in the NHL-PART Two (Saku Koivu's reply in English and French)

Not the most flattering picture, but I'll never forget how excited I was to meet this amazing man. He signed a hat for me which I have locked away in a safe until I can get a special hat display. Might sound nuts, but I learned after my daughter lost half the team's signatures on a hat she accidentally mixed in with the laundry.

I may never get another chance to meet him, so I'm taking no risks!

So back to the interview! Again, here's the link if you'd like to watch it (Question at 39:00) :

**Credit to Jade Baiser for the French translation:

"In November, Mr. Molson stated in an interview with the Gazette that the Canadiens would welcome an openly gay player on their roster. As a former Hab, do you think the atmosphere in the locker room would make acceptance that easy?"

En Novembre, M. Molson a déclaré dans une interview à la Gazette que les Canadiens accueilleraient un joueur ouvertement gay sur leur liste. En tant qu'ancien joueur, pensez-vous que l'atmosphère dans le vestiaire rendrait cette acceptation si facile?

Saku Koivu:

"I know it’s been in the news also, in Finland and everywhere in the last few months and I strongly, strongly believe that yes. I don’t think it would be a problem. I know if that would happen it would bring up a lot of questions. But for players in a team I don’t see that being a problem at all."

Je sais que cela a fait la une en Finlande et un peu partout également au cours des derniers mois et je crois fermement que oui. Je ne pense pas que ce serait un problème. Je sais que si cela arrivait, cela apporterait beaucoup de questions. Mais pour les joueurs d'une équipe, je ne pense pas du tout que ce serait un problème.

Very straight forward. And exactly what a young boy or girl who loves the sport needs to hear. Female hockey players have come out, but our guys still aren't ready. Maybe this won't do much, but you never know. His words may be exactly what they need.

My next post will have a collection of links to some of the best posts I've found on the topic, as well as some information on gay players in other hockey leagues.

There are NO gay players in the NHL

Saturday, July 25, 2015

There are NO gay players in the NHL-PART ONE

I don't believe that. I don't think anyone does. According to some studies, 10% of the population is homosexual. There are aprox 690 active players in the NHL and 1500 contracted players.

You do the math.

Why is it that every other professional sport has had at least one player come out within the last few years, but hockey players remain silent? There could be many reasons, but my own experience leads me to believe the organization still has a long way to go. 

The media may be part of what's tripping them up.

To be honest, I didn't want to get into all this because I see the strides happening in professional sports and I tend to look at the positive. Players in different sports are coming out. The media is making it possible for them to reach the fans and show acceptance. The YOU CAN PLAY project is supported by some of the players I love.

Changes are happening. While doing research, I came across this special by TSN which is a must see:

TSN Original-Re/Orientation

So we're done, right? Gay marriage is accepted in the US. It's been legal in Canada for the past 10 years. Sports are catching up to equality everywhere.

Blinders aren't a fashion accessory anyone should EVER conform to. We still have a long way to go.

This image was put out there for 'International Day Against Homophobia'. Awesome, right? A visual to show how tolerant we are of people of different orientations. Quebec's beloved sport being shown in an image of support.

I hadn't seen this image until I did some research. And very few people have. According to this article, one of Quebec's biggest media outlets took it down that very day in their building:

Now, this could be completely out of context. Maybe the Quebec media is doing more than I know. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I have my own experiences making me wonder...

This past December, I took the opportunity as a First Line member of the Montreal Canadiens fan club to visit the Bell Center and see one of my all time, favorite players, Saku Koivu. Even before he won his battle against cancer and made strides in improving treatment in Montreal, I admired this man. I was thrilled just to get a chance to be in the same room as him. 

But, as an author who writes about hockey and is aware of the issues involving gay players, there was a very important question I needed to ask him. I knew if any player could make the statement that a gay player would be welcome, it would be him.

Here's the interview. I'll post a transcript of my question below since I know I made a mess of this. I won't quit my day job as an author and become a reporter! ;)

My question comes at 39:00

"In November, Mr. Molson stated in an interview with the Gazette that the Canadiens would welcome an openly gay player on their roster. As a former Hab, do you think the atmosphere in the locker room would make acceptance that easy?"

As soon as I can, I will have a transcript of his reply, but it was perfect. What every young player who may be gay needs to hear. 'You are welcome'.

Only...well, I hope the player is English. Because my question was the ONLY one not translated. And when interviews with Koivu are mentioned at all in the media, his very important message to gay players is ignored.

Now, to be real, I made a mess of that. I was nervous and maybe I didn't speak clearly, but even after the question was repeated, and Koivu answered, there was the same opportunity as with every other question for a translation.

So why didn't it happen?

I can't say for sure, but I do know one thing. I am a sports romance author. My books have reached over a million readers. Some of them have told me they never read gay romance until they picked up my books.

So I have a voice that can reach many. And I will use that hoping that there's one player out there that will hear me and know he is not alone. The charities and the media have taken a HUGE step to pave the way for that brave player who will finally come out, but there are still many obstacles. This blog series will confront many of those obstacles. I will have a transcript of the interview in English AND French as soon as possible. Other sports fiction authors will speak their mind.

Maybe my question was uncomfortable for the interviewer (who I believe is from RDS). I don't want to assume anything, but what I'd like to know is WHY? This was an opportunity to show how a legend in our organization felt about a very important issue.

My name didn't have to be used. I would have been fine with just his answer being out there for one young player to feel the support that's needed. Koivu is a man any talented player can admire. Let HIS words speak to them!

That didn't happen. So I will use my voice and get his words to the people that need to hear them. And hopefully, next time the opportunity comes, the media will grab it and make a difference.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Please don't make me WAIT!!! And...I'm gonna try! ;)

This question has been asked by quite a few people, so I figured I should address it here. I have discussed it briefly in the Cobra discussion group:

Not everyone is there though. You should really join! <g>

Anyway, the question is: 'Will we really have to wait until 2016 for the next Cobra book, Line Brawl?'

The answer?


The dilemma is that as much as I love our boys, I have several other projects going that I can't put off. Fans of the Deadly Captive books have every right to be pissed by how long it's taken to get the last book of the trilogy out. Many know why I couldn't put it out sooner, but that's irrelevant when it comes down to the fact that the book needs to get out there.

Celestial Pets is another book that's had some delays. Thankfully, I'll be releasing the full book in August. I'll have a pre-order link up soon so you all can grab it if you want. I love the book and I hope you'll all enjoy it as much as you do my other books.

BUT there's some good news on the Cobra front. Our easily misled rookie, Braxton Richards, will be getting his own novella, Neutral Zone Trap, as part of the Seduced by The Game: Cancer Charity Collection, starting in October. His book is set to be released October 7th, followed every few weeks by another release in the collection to raise money to support cancer charities connected to the NHL.

With all these projects, I can't say for sure when Line Brawl will come out, but I don't see it taking too long because I'm chewing at the bit to write Pischlar's book! It's going to be a massive one, probably closer to the length of Iron Cross, if not longer.

I will also be starting my new series about our sexy new Southern boys, which is why I'm so excited to be doing the Writer's Police Academy in August. I can't write unless I'm confident about the material, so I'm going to learn everything I can about law enforcement to make the lives of our Kentucky State Troopers as realistic as possible.

One thing I can promise is that if you love my work, you'll be getting tons of it this year! This year meaning hockey season, but you probably aren't all that surprised that my calender works that way. ;)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments. I hope you've all enjoyed Goal Line and I'm looking forward to sharing many more books--both with the Cobras, as well as some new men I know you'll fall in love with--for a long time to come! And thank you so much for all your support! You guys rock! :D