Dermott’s use of Pride Tape is explicitly banned by the NHL, despite the Pride Tape’s simple intent of expressing support for the LGBTQ community in hockey.
Dermott told reporter Craig Morgan that the LGBTQ community means a lot to him, and that the NHL’s Pride Tape ban has been emotionally difficult for him.
“I’d be lying if I said I haven’t shed tears about this on multiple occasions,” he told Morgan. “So yeah, it’s something I’m definitely very passionate about.
The NHL is the only major pro-sports league in North America that has never had a gay or bisexual athlete or coach come out publicly.
The folks at Pride Tape celebrated the moment:
Congratulations Travis and the @arizonacoyotes for the home opener win today. And Travis, we’re glad you got your tape. Many appreciate your leadership using Pride Tape in game. #StickUpForPrideTape pic.twitter.com/yAqHGyRoeF— Pride Tape (@PrideTape) October 21, 2023
Dermott’s use of the Pride Tape is a total disaster for the NHL. The league is now forced to hand down some punishment for Dermott’s expression of LGBTQ inclusion in men’s hockey.
If the NHL punishes Dermott, the league is fining or suspending a player for demonstrating support for a community that has long felt rejected by men’s hockey.
If the league does nothing, the flood gates are open.
Your move, NHL.