NHL rescinds ban on Pride Tape newsbhunt


The NHL has rescinded its ban on players using stick tape to support social causes, including rainbow Pride Tape.

In a message on social media, the NHL issued a statement on symbolic tape in support of social causes.

“After consultation with the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, players will now have the option to voluntarily represent social causes with their stick tape throughout the season.”

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The NHL decided in June not to allow team members to wear any theme jerseys for warmups after a handful of players opted out of team Pride nights last season. The league said that it was a distraction from the work teams were doing in the community.

Earlier in October, the You Can Play project, which advocates for inclusion and diversity in sports including LGBTQ2 athletes, coaches and fans, slammed the NHL’s updated guidance banning symbols like Pride Tape.

The Pride Tape team, supported by You Can Play, said it was “extremely disappointed by the NHL’s decision to eliminate Pride Tape from any league on-ice activities.”

In a statement Tuesday, You Can Play applauded the NHL’s change of heart.

“The NHL’s policy reconsideration and reinstating the players’ ability to support the LGBTQ+ community in hockey is a win for us all.

“Actively welcoming communities into hockey is imperative to keep the sport strong now and into the future. We appreciate every person, team and organization that made their voice heard to support this change, and appreciate the NHL’s willingness to listen and make the right choice.”

Arizona Coyotes defenceman Travis Dermott was the first player to defy the order on Pride Tape, having it on his stick for a game played over the weekend.

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The Stanley Cup first appeared at a Pride parade in 2010 when then-Blackhawks defenceman Brent Sopel brought it to the celebration in Chicago. A few years later, in 2013, the league partnered with the You Can Play Project. The NHL added team Pride ambassadors in 2016-17.

Rainbow Pride stick tape debuted with the Edmonton Oilers in 2016.

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With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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