The Islanders would welcome a gay teammate, Casey Cizikas said over the weekend as the team raised awareness for the LGBTQ community.
"I think so," Cizikas said about welcoming a gay teammate, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday, while speaking at the Islanders' You Can Play Awareness night. "We're a big family. Whoever it is, we're going to welcome them with open arms. Every team is a family, and it takes every single person to bring that family together. It would definitely be big for the sport."
The "You Can Play Awareness night" began after Brendan Burke -- the son of Flames president Brian Burke, came out in 2009. Brendan was killed in a car accident in 2010.
"It's become a real big issue and a lot of people are realizing what they can and can't say," Cizikas added. "It's very serious. To bring the NHL family and the community together, it's big for everybody."
Cizikas noted that he has "friends of friends and family friends" from the LGBTQ community.
"It definitely wasn't easy for them growing up," Cizikas said. "But the way the world is now, we've come a long way. It's definitely exciting."