December 8, 2023

The NHL has reversed its policy on the use of colored stick tape to represent causes during games and in practices.

“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,” the league said in a statement Tuesday.

The NHL announced in June that teams were no longer allowed to wear “specialty” jerseys during warmups, practices or games during nights that supported causes like Pride or military appreciation. The league further clarified that on-ice player uniforms and gear worn in warmups, official team practices and games could not be altered to reflect “specialty” theme nights.

That included the use of Pride tape, a rainbow-colored stick tape that’s been used in support of the LGBTQIA+ community for several seasons. The league told ESPN that the ban on Pride tape was to prevent teams and players from using it as an “end-around” to violate the new uniform policy.

The Pride tape ban made international news and compelled NHL players, including reigning MVP Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, to openly question the policy.

“I’ve expressed disappointment in not being able to wear the various jersey or the tapes … whether that’s Pride tape or pink tape,” McDavid said. “Is it something that I’d like to see back into place one day? Certainly.”

On Saturday, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first NHL player to use Pride tape on his stick in defiance of the NHL’s ban, wrapping the top of his stick with the tape.

“It’s not like I’m shutting up and going away,” he told PHNX. “I know more questions are going to be coming. We’re just going to be as prepared as we can be to just spread love. That’s the thing. It’s gay pride that we’re talking about, but it could be men’s health. It could be any war. It’s just wanting world peace. Everyone’s got to love each other a little bit more.”

The NHL, NHLPA and the NHL player inclusion coalition met early last week about the Pride Tape issue following the outrage about the ban. There was another meeting involving the coalition on Monday. On Tuesday, word began to spread around the NHL that the policy was changing.

The reversal of the policy was met with a positive response from many fans and advocacy organizations.

“I’m a big believer in freedom of choice. While I might have been disappointed, I didn’t criticize any players for not wearing a [Pride] jersey, because that’s their right to choose. I think it should be a player’s right to use the tape they want to, that’s been sanctioned by the NHL for years. For me, this is a big win for freedom of choice,” said Brock McGillis, a former pro hockey player and a founder of the Alphabet Sports Collective. “That said, we need to get back to a point where we’re focused on informed decision making and recognizing impact.”

The unilateral ban on “specialty jerseys,” approved by the NHL board of governors with no objection from the NHLPA, came after several players refused to take part in warmups when their teams wore Pride Night jerseys, citing personal or religious objections.

Defenseman Ivan Provorov, then of the Philadelphia Flyers, was the first player to opt out in January, citing his Russian Orthodox religion. Because of these objections, individual teams, including the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, decided not to have any players wear Pride jerseys in warmups.

The ban on “specialty” jerseys goes beyond Pride nights to include those supporting causes such as Hockey Fights Cancer and jerseys commemorating Black and Latino heritage months and military appreciation.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league’s new policy has been “terribly misunderstood and mis-portrayed” and that the NHL still encourages “specialty nights where groups of all different types are honored and consciousness is raised.”

The NHL also donates funds to groups involved in the specialty nights.

“What happened last year was that the issue of who wanted to wear a particular uniform on a particular night overshadowed everything that our clubs were doing. So what we said, instead of having that distraction and having our players have to decide whether or not they wanted to do something or not do something and be singled out, we said, ‘Let’s not touch that,'” Bettman told ESPN Radio’s “UnSportsmanLike” in October.

The makers of Pride Tape were “extremely disappointed” that the ban extended to colored stick tape. Like the game-worn theme night jerseys, NHL players’ sticks wrapped with Pride tape were auctioned off by teams to raise money for charity. Depending on the player, a game-worn autographed jersey could fetch well over $1,500.

“The league has used language in recent days that would prohibit the tape from any proximity to NHL hockey. We hope the league — and teams — will again show commitment to this important symbol of combating homophobia,” Pride Tape said in a statement.

The league also saw one of its major sponsorship partners make a statement about Pride Tape.

Canadian-based Scotiabank announced it was giving away 5,000 rolls of Pride Tape at branches across Canada to fans and players “who want to show their support for Pride and making hockey more inclusive.”

Jeff McLean, a co-founder of Pride Tape, said he was told the Scotiabank promotion came together “rather quickly” and that “while it wasn’t related to Travis [Dermott], it was related to the ban.”

The NHL risked being an outlier in the hockey world with its ban on pride tape.

The AHL, ECHL, NCAA and the CHL, which is the major junior umbrella for the OHL, QMJHL and WHL, all told ESPN that their respective entities had no bans on Pride tape or specialty sweaters.

A CHL spokesperson said last week that the WHL’s Victoria Royals were hosting a “Hockey Is For Everyone” Night and that the Royals were slated to use Pride tape.

An ECHL spokesperson said that players could “utilize their preference of tape color” as long as the tape was from the league’s exclusive partner, Howies Hockey Tape. While Howies Hockey Tape does not have Pride tape, its website shows the supplier does have multiple colors that could be used to create a version of homemade Pride tape. The ECHL spokesperson also said that the league would be willing to discuss alternative options with players who felt uncomfortable participating in “certain theme-night activations” only to then state that “no player has ever come to the League with a request to not participate.”

While the NCAA had no specific bans, a spokesperson told ESPN that it is up to each individual conference and its member schools to determine if they want to host specialty nights.

Division I collegiate conferences such as the Atlantic Hockey, College Hockey America, ECAC, Hockey East and the WCHA each stated they had not placed any restrictions on their teams from hosting specialty nights, wearing specialty sweaters or using Pride tape in any arenas.

“The league actively encourages and works with its teams to utilize these events to engage with their communities both on and off campus,” Hockey East said in a statement to ESPN. “Some teams, including Northeastern’s men’s and women’s programs, have already enjoyed successful Pride Nights in the early parts of this season and we’re looking forward to celebrating such events at other schools as the year goes on.”

Additional reporting by ESPN’s Ryan S. Clark

Free Spins in Coin Master: Your Path to Village Mastery
genshin impact codes january 2023 3 4 release gfinity esports
ZEPETO Zems Farming: Your Ultimate Guide
free match master coins generator 2023 without human
Get Free TikTok Coins: The Ultimate Guide
Boost Your Brawl Stars Experience with Free Gems
how do i get more gems dragon city help center
free family island rubies and energy hack cheats generator
free hay day diamonds coins tricks apk android app تنزيل
download get free diamond litmatch apk for android apk4k
gift code myths of moonrise january 2023 youtube
pull the pin mod apk v0 138 1 unlimited coins playmods
evony apk mod unlimited gems 2022 ios and android twitter
pdf free dice dreams rolls generator update 2023 vi7q
project makeover game hacks tiktok search
download beach buggy racing mod apk 2021 premium
Free TikTok Coins: Where to Find Them
Où trouver des pièces gratuites sur TikTok : Votre guide
How to Legally and Quickly Get Free Spins in Coin Master
Unlocking Free Avacoins in Avakin Life: A Comprehensive Guide
Free Credits in Bingo Blitz: Insider Secrets
Earn Free Spins in Coin Master Like a Pro
genshin impact codes guide get free primogems and mora
How to Get ZEPETO Zems Legally and Quickly
match masters free coins archives crazyashwin
Free TikTok Coins: The Holy Grail of Success
Free Gems in Brawl Stars: The Future of Brawl Gaming
new cheats dragon city free gems mod generator freemind
free family island hack cheats unlimited rubies and energy
hay day hack generator s profile hackaday io

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *