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NHL bans players from showing support for LGBTQ+ communities in NHL arenas


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Mike Armenti
October 10, 2023  (2:16 PM)
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Last season, we saw the likes of Ivan Provorov, Eric Staal and netminder James Reimer take very public stances against supporting Pride initiatives, refusing to participate in Pride Night pre-game activities or wear jerseys or decals to show the LGBTQ+ community that they are welcome.

There was a ton of backlash last season for not only the players who opted out of participating in these events, but also towards the league for allowing players to alienate marginalized communities. Commissioner Gary Bettman had even stated last season that "it has become a distraction."
The NHL now shared a memo with all clubs stating the following; "Players shall not be put in the position of having to demonstrate (or where they may be appearing to demonstrate) personal support for any special Initiatives. A factor that may be considered in this regard includes, for example, whether a Player (or Players) is required to be in close proximity to any groups or individuals, visibly or otherwise, clearly associated with such special Initiative(s)."
Paraphrasing the above, it essentially says that players that are uncomfortable in supporting special initiatives should not be put in a position where they feel they are being targeted by fans and the media during special initiatives in which their teammates are participating. That means that even if some players wish to show their support of their own volition, they are not permitted to do so. Players are not even allowed to have rainbow tape on their sticks to show their own individual support for the LGBTQ+ community.
It's hard to view this as anything other than a huge step backward for hockey. These events were created to help promote inclusivity. The recent memo has reversed whatever progress the league had made up to this point. Very unfortunate and disappointing, to say the least.
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POLL
10 OCTOBRE   |   147 ANSWERS
NHL bans players from showing support for LGBTQ+ communities in NHL arenas

What do you think of the NHL's decision to ban players from using rainbow tape in support of the LGBTQ+ community during warmups?

It's a really lame decision3624.5 %
Players should be able to choose either way4732 %
I don't mind it - keep hockey about hockey5235.4 %
I'd prefer not to answer128.2 %
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