The National Hockey League (NHL) last week announced it was partnering with the You Can Play Project to fight homophobia and transphobia in sports.

“Our motto is 'Hockey Is For Everyone,'” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement, “and our partnership with You Can Play certifies that position in a clear and unequivocal way. While we believe that our actions in the past have shown our support for the LGBT community, we are delighted to reaffirm through this joint venture with the NHL Players' Association that the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands.”

The You Can Play Project was started by Patrick Burke to honor the memory of his brother Brendan Burke, a college hockey player who in 2009 announced he was gay and advocated against homophobia in sports, especially hockey. He tragically died in an auto accident at the age of 21.

“I think the most important thing is that we're seeing a major professional league and a major professional players' association step up and make an official statement about inclusion,” Patrick Burke said. “This is the hockey community saying to the LGBT community, 'You are invited. You are welcome. You are embraced here.' This is huge. From a sports perspective, this is historic.”

The NHL will work with the You Can Play Project to address LGBT issues with new recruits, on public service announcements and on counseling players who might be considering coming out publicly.