As part of Hockey is for Everyone month, every NHL team is hosting a night to celebrate the LGBT community. Some NHL teams are totally embracing the LGBT community during the month and on specific nights highlighting the community and the You Can Play project in more powerful ways.
The Pittsburgh Penguins held the city’s first LGBT Night at a professional sports match. The team opened its luxury box to host LGBT youth and had a young member of the community sing the National Anthem.
The Buffalo Sabres Foundation used the opportunity of Hockey is for Everyone month to make a $5,000 donation to both the local Gay & Lesbian Youth Services organiation and the Pride Center of WNY.
The Edmonton Oilers went all out, using Pride Tape on sticks for warm-ups (something many teams are doing), having rainbow-flags present and drenching the ice in rainbow-colored light at times.
Nothing more clearly says “inclusion” to the LGBT community than the use of rainbow colors, which has been the symbol of the community for decades.
The Oilers put together this great video to talk about the night:
Next week Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby will wear a facemask inspired by the Hockey Is For Everyone campaign and including the logo of the You Can Play project. Check it out:
The Chicago Blackhawks are allowing a number LGBT organizations to have tables and booths on the concourse of the team’s game this Saturday, including the Center on Halstead and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association. Plus, elite athlete Chris Mosier, who is transgender, will be involved in an on-ice “shoot the puck” during the second intermission.
The Blackhawks also did a neat floor hockey exercise with youth at the Center on Halsted, featuring 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Ben Eager.
“The event, hosted by the Blackhawks Youth Hockey department with support Chicago Gay Hockey Association and Center on Halsted, included a skills section and practice game, along with the opportunity for the kids to shoot at Ben in the net,” Mosier, who works with the You Can Play project, said. “Ben signed autographs and everyone left with a stick, many wrapped with Pride Tape.”
The New Jersey Devils’ Pride Night will be Feb. 27. Devils and Prudential Center staffer Joe Altenau came out publicly on Outsports earlier this season. After the game the Devils will auction off the pride sticks used by the players.