MONTREAL, QC – DECEMBER 12: Andrew Shaw #65 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on prior to a face-off during the NHL game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on December 12, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Andrew Shaw volunteers to be You Can Play ambassador and learn from past mistakes

The NHL had announced a new program where a member from each team’s roster would be an ambassador for the You Can Play project, which promotes diversity, equality, and inclusion with respect to the LGBTQ community. And today, the team ambassadors were named. One notable name was Andrew Shaw of the Montreal Canadiens. Shaw was suspended last season while with the Blackhawks for using a homophobic slur during a game. So choosing Shaw raised some eyebrows.

But Shaw chose himself. He explains here …

Response has been mixed, including the feeling that Shaw volunteering was simply about Q rating and image rehab.

And that, as always, is the key here. Don’t sing it, bring it. Show you’ve learned from your mistakes and set a real example for the You Can Play program. And certainly don’t use those words anymore. You said yourself that words mean more than you think they do, so live by it. You do that, then nobody will worry about the motivation for it. As for the Canadiens appointing him after he volunteered, it certainly brought attention to the program, and that can’t be a bad thing. I can certainly understand why people would be offended or think it’s strange that Shaw is the Canadiens’ representative. Think of it this way: There’s a lot of conversation regarding this now and it’s an opportunity to drive the point home that hockey is an inclusive sport and that anyone can play. If that main point can be advanced through Andrew Shaw’s mistake, then the mission is that much closer to being complete.