Rick Nash, Claude Giroux, Dion Phaneuf and Henrik Lundqvist are among the NHL stars appearing in a video in support of gay athletes.

The 60-second video, part of the You Can Play project, first aired during the first intermission of Sunday's NBC Sports broadcast of the game between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

“The goals for You Can Play are clear,” Patrick Burke, a co-founder and a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, said in a statement. “We want to make locker rooms safe for all athletes, rather than places of fear, slurs and bullying. The casual homophobia in sports has to change, so all athletes know that what counts is whether you can play the game.”

Patrick Burke is the brother of Brendan Burke, who came out gay while manager of the Miami University ice hockey team. In 2010, he was killed in a car accident.

“The hockey community united behind Brendan because he loved the game, and that's what matters. The NHL players stepping forward to support You Can Play know that creating a homophobia-free environment will make their teams – and the sport – better,” Burke said. “It's important for straight athletes at all levels to step up and let gay athletes know they will be accepted, and to let other straight athletes know that homophobic language and attitudes are never appropriate.”

Burke told The Washington Post that “we've never had an openly gay active male player in any of the four big professional leagues.”

“As accepting as our [NHL] players are and our management is, we need the gay athletes who are currently in the NHL – because I believe there are some – to know just how accepting our league is. It's scary when you think you're alone, when you think you're the only one. Everyone thinks about the worst-case scenario: I'm gonna come out, and my teammates are gonna turn on me, and I'll get cut. We need to show them that that's not the case.”

Brendan Burke's father, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, also appears in the PSA.

More than 30 NHL players have already volunteered to support the program.