Shaw to be Canadiens’ ambassador to ‘fight homophobia in sports’

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price sees an opportunity to lay a nice hip check on one of his teammates and executes it perfectly to drop Andrew Shaw.

BROSSARD, Que. — When the Montreal Canadiens asked for a volunteer to serve as the team’s ambassador “to lead the way in his market and fight homophobia in sports,” as part of the NHL’s month-long campaign in partnership with You Can Play’s “Hockey Is For Everyone” project, Andrew Shaw stepped up.

Shaw, who was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks when he was suspended for a game last spring for “making use of a homophobic slur,” saw this as an opportunity to show everyone what he really stands for.

“I’m the kind of guy that wants everyone to be happy. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or hurt anyone at all,” said Shaw on Friday. “What I went through last year—you know, I learned from it. Words affect people more than you think, and it’s something I learned. And with what I learned last year, I think it’s a good position for me to be in.

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“I can take what I learned from my experience and help others learn from the value of words.”

The announcement of Shaw’s inclusion on Thursday, as one of the 30 representatives from each team who is tasked with being “a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality and inclusion,” was met with some skepticism on social media.

When asked if he was doing this just to repair his image, Shaw responded by saying, “I want it to be about the program, not about me.

“I just want to be there to help, and help is what I’m going to give,” he added.


When Shaw was suspended last season, YCP released an official statement that they were “saddened and offended” by his use of a homophobic slur.

As for their reaction to Shaw’s new role as an ambassador for the program, he said he hadn’t been in contact with anyone from the organization personally but that it had reached out to the Canadiens to say it was happy about his inclusion.

How will Shaw approach this role?

“If you were a friend or a teammate of mine, you’d know I’m a good listener,” he said. “I’m a good guy to vent to or talk to or whatever you need. I’m there to support my teammates, to support people in the community, so I’m just going to go out there and I’m just going to help as much as I can.

“I want everyone to be themselves and be comfortable with who they are because I think if you’re comfortable with yourself and who you are, I think that’s the only way to be happy and living with yourself.”

Another representative as part of this initiative is Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who was outspoken on Twitter last December in response to a homophobic slur.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who marched in a Pride Parade last summer, is also serving as an ambassador.

The other 27 representatives are:

Anaheim Ducks — Ryan Kesler

Arizona Coyotes — Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Buffalo Sabres — Anders Nilsson

Carolina Hurricanes — Eddie Lack

Calgary Flames — Matt Stajan

Chicago Blackhawks — Trevor van Riemsdyk

Colorado Avalanche — Gabriel Landeskog

Columbus Blue Jackets — Scott Hartnell

Dallas Stars — Curtis McKenzie

Detroit Red Wings — Frans Nielsen

Edmonton Oilers — Matt Hendricks

Florida Panthers — Shawn Thornton

Los Angeles Kings — Dustin Brown

Minnesota Wild — Charlie Coyle

Nashville Predators — Colin Wilson

New Jersey Devils — Andy Greene

New York Islanders — Casey Cizikas

New York Rangers — Mats Zuccarello

Ottawa Senators — Dion Phaneuf

Philadelphia Flyers — Claude Giroux

Pittsburgh Penguins — Chris Kunitz

San Jose Sharks — Chris Tierney

St. Louis Blues — David Perron

Tampa Bay Lightning — Brian Boyle

Toronto Maple Leafs — James van Riemsdyk

Vancouver Canucks — Henrik Sedin

Winnipeg Jets — Jacob Trouba

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