Shifting the Culture, with Brock McGillis

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"Shouldn't hockey be a place where everyone can go and feel good for 2-3 hours a night?...It's not."

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The Coaches Site is proud to welcome Beyond the X’s and O’s with Dr. Cassidy Preston and Chris DePiero to our network of podcasts! Stay tuned for weekly episodes as they help coaches develop the “soft” skills of leadership.

Brock McGillis is the first openly gay men’s professional hockey player, public speaker and a leading activist in the LGBTQ2S+ space. McGillis studied communications and sports community at Laurentian University and is certified in EDI from Cornell University. His rare combination of education and lived experience have allowed him to become an influential LGBTQ+ advocate, both in the world of sports and beyond. McGillis is an international speaker and brings his unique experiences to corporations, events, sports teams, and schools. His continuous work to shift the conversation around sports and pride has been highlighted in media formats across North America and earned him recognition as one of The Hockey News’ 100 most influential people in hockey for 2022.

McGillis shared honest and raw experiences that humanize his story. As a result, we believe his inspiring perspective is a crucial piece in our fight against the ‘Old-School’ ways of thinking. The key takeaways include:

  • The conformity to cultural norms and the need to challenge the status quo
  • Gatekeepers need to evolve and are key to shifting the cultural norms
  • Fortunately he had support from his family, but not everyone in sport was supportive – what would the impact be for those who don’t have support in either?
  • How hockey players can be influencers and positive shift makers in our society
  • The need to shift from superficial ‘Bro’ discussions to deeper meaningful connections in the sporting culture
  • Performative acts of inclusion that have little to no impact
  • Luke Prokop’s story

McGillis’ story can have a significant impact on our culture – so join us in the fight against the ‘Old-School’ ways of thinking and share this episode with your fellow coaches, players and parents.



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