When the puck dropped on the new National Hockey League season Tuesday, some leftists tried to hijack the celebration. They are upset that the NHL now bans the use of rainbow stick tape, commonly known as “Pride” tape.
This came after the league in June rejected players wearing LGBT-themed warmup jerseys before games on “Pride Night.” Several players and teams last season chose to opt out of the events for religious and other reasons.
The NHL sent a memo to all 32 teams on Tuesday outlining the rule changes as the season was set to start.
Suffice it to say, liberals had a conniption fit over hockey’s move to avoid forcing players to advocate something against their moral beliefs. Many took to social media to express their disappointment at not having their narrative forced onto others.
Some advocated for players to apply rainbow tape to their sticks for every game this season.
Others slammed it as the sporting version of “Don’t Say Gay,” the leftist designation for a Florida law protecting small children from radical gender ideology.
The prohibition included other specialty sweaters such as Hockey Fights Cancer and military appreciation events.
The league-wide memo, however, encouraged players “to express themselves off the ice.” Naturally, the manufacturers of the rainbow tape expressed their dismay.
“Pride” Tape posted on social media that it was “disappointed” in the NHL’s decision to ban its use on the ice.”We hope the league — and teams — will again show commitment to this important symbol of combating homophobia.”
The You Can Play Project has partnered with the NHL in recent years. It condemned the league’s action as “stepping back from its longstanding commitment to inclusion.”
The move could have been anticipated after last year’s controversies.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the jerseys became “more of a distraction from really the essence of what the purpose of these nights are.” He said the focus should be on the game, with attention paid to “the cause” on specialty nights.
Defenseman Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers led last year’s charge against being forced to advocate for something a player does not support. He famously opted out of the team’s January “Pride” night, citing his Russian Orthodox beliefs.