Twenty years ago this would have been unimaginable. The country has changed at lightning speed:
Professional sports stars haven't played much of a role in the 40-year history of Chicago's Pride Parade.
Sunday's parade will be different, with the Chicago Cubs entering a float and a player from the NHL champion Blackhawks set to tote the Stanley Cup down North Halsted Street. ...
The Cubs' participation was encouraged by new owner Tom Ricketts, who wanted the Cubs to be seen as "good neighbors," a team spokesman said.
While players from this year's lineup won't be on the team's float — they'll be busy playing the White Sox — "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks will.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel will be carrying the Stanley Cup in the parade to honor Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke. Brendan Burke came out as a gay man shortly before dying in a car accident in February.
Brendan Burke was a student at Miami University in Ohio and worked with the school's hockey team. After opening up about his sexuality to the team, he spoke publicly about his experience growing up as a gay hockey player.