Harrison Browne, the first transgender player in professional hockey, participated in the ceremonial face-off prior the New York Rangers game against the Carolina Hurricanes in celebration of the team’s pride night at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. The NHL has been hosting pride nights for all 31 of their teams as part of their #HockeyIsForEveryone campaign.
Browne had played three seasons in the National Women's Hockey League for the Metropolitan Riveters and the Buffalo Beauts before retiring after last season in order to complete his transition. He now works for the You Can Play Project as a consultant, and he was asked to represent the organization at the event.
"Whenever You Can Play nights come along I get asked to do this because I'm a hockey player and I have a strong tie with the community," Browne told NHL.com. "It's kind of a no-brainer for me to do these events, but I'm super excited to be back in New York and near where my old team was."
Last year, Browne had participated in the ceremonial puck drop for Florida Panthers as part of the Hockey Is For Everyone campaign, and he says it is important to him to be a part of You Can Play's mission to eradicate homophobia in sports and promote visibility.
"Everywhere I go I'm an ambassador, but now it makes more sense to work in partnership [with You Can Play] to see what we can do to spread more awareness," Browne said. "I have more time I can devote to training youth, to be out in the community."
Watch Harrison Browne take part in the ceremonial puck drop on the New York Rangers’ Twitter page below: