Braden Holtby was headed to Washington D.C.’s gay pride parade anyway — it was a bonus that the Capitals asked him to represent the team.
The Washington Capitals goaltender walked in the parade Saturday, the first time his NHL club has officially participated in the event, and they are doing so in conjunction with the You Can Play group that aims to ensure equality in sports regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Here are a few visuals from the day:
Holtby is there with his wife Brandi and the two are both strong supporters of LGBT rights. Holtby spoke with Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post Wednesday when he talked about how he and his wife came to develop a deeper interest in the cause. Brandi Holtby’s Twitter bio features the Harvey Milk quote: “It takes no compromise to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual.”
“My wife has taught me a lot more about it than I knew before, and kind of broadened my views on a lot of LGBT community issues,” he told The Washington Post. “We’ve just gotten to know people in around the community, and the issues they go through and what they’re trying to accomplish. We’ve tried to support them in different ways to create equality, basically. It’s something that we both feel is an issue that’s close to us, an issue we believe in, and this is one way to show that.”
The couple attended last year’s Capital Pride Festival as well.
Holtby told The Washington Post that the topic of gay rights occasionally comes up in the Capitals’ dressing room but that You Can Play’s efforts have pushed the conversation forward so that acceptance “is just the norm.”
“You’re making a bigger statement for a cause that we feel is necessary to society,” Holtby said in the article. “It just seemed like a no-brainer to me.”
One fan from the parade either passionately supports Holtby or is concerned about him being available in any future expansion draft.