The powers that be in the NHL, led by commissioner Gary Bettman, are squashing efforts by players who support LGBTQ inclusion by banning things like Pride Tape (a decision reversed Tuesday) and Pride warmup jerseys.
But a fun “speed dating” video between two Buffalo Sabres players and LGBTQ allies shows the players are more progressive than the people who run hockey.
Tyson Jost and Alex Tuch are the stars of the speed dating video put out on social media by the Sabres on Monday. It’s billed as Episode 1 so that’s something to look forward to.
The two players laughingly hold hands at the beginning and then Jost asks Tuch, “You ready, baby?” This follows a series of dating questions that the players have fun with. We learn, for example, that Jost cried during the movie “Marley & Me,” and that Tuch is a juggler.
3...2...1...— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 23, 2023
SPEED DATING! pic.twitter.com/j1dTrGtymN
The bit isn’t meant to be deep, but I did appreciate that the two players were enjoying themselves and played along with the concept of speed dating without unease.
It tells me that the players in the NHL, much younger than the men running the sport, have a greater acceptance of diversity. This showed during the Pride Nights this past season which became controversial even though less than 1% of the players complained about wearing Pride-themed jerseys.
Jost and Tuch have proven themselves to be allies. Tuch has used Pride Tape on his stick, while Jost talked about why inclusion was important while a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
“Everybody should be comfortable in their own skin and who they are as a person, whether that’s a fan or player,” Jost said. “You shouldn’t be hiding who you are.”
Jost also called Luke Prokop coming out as a gay player “outstanding” and encouraged other gay players to feel comfortable being themselves.