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NHL’s ‘Hockey For Everyone’ features rainbow-taped sticks, a Gay Men’s Chorus and more

The Columbus Blue Jackets celebrated inclusion and diversity on a special night

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Columbus Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets show support for the LGBTQ community with multi-colored tape for Hockey is For Everyone night during warmups prior to their game against the San Jose Sharks at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Although Ohio is ranked near the bottom of U.S. states that support equality, its only National Hockey League team turned a regularly-scheduled Saturday night game into a celebration of being gay, lesbian, bisexual transgender, and more.

February is the month the NHL celebrates Pride, in the form of events called “Hockey Is For Everyone.” The league bills it as a celebration of inclusion and diversity.

And it’s not just for the LGBTQ community, but also honors fans marginalized because of their race, color, gender, faith, national origin, socio-economic status and ability.

As WCMH-TV in Columbus reported, the Columbus Blue Jackets wrapped their warm-up sticks with rainbow-colored tape, sold fans special pride hats and pucks, and the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus joined super-fan Leo Welsh in singing the national anthem.

Those sticks weren’t used in the game, which the home team won in a 4-0 shut-out of the San Jose Sharks. But some of the players autographed them and they were sold at auction to benefit the You Can Play Project.

Watch this report from WCMH: