NHL Reverses Rainbow ‘Pride’ Stick Tape Ban

Following an initial prohibition on players using rainbow-colored “pride tape” on their hockey sticks, the NHL yielded to pressure from the left and has now decided to permit this display, paying homage to those who embrace diverse sexual orientations.

The rainbow, which symbolizes God’s covenant to refrain from flooding the earth again, was initially at the center of the controversy.

The league released a statement, saying, “After consultation with the NHL Player’s Association and the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, Players will now have the option to voluntarily represent social causes with their stick tape throughout the season.”

The makers of Pride Tape posted on social media, “We are so very grateful to everyone who believes hockey should be a safe, inclusive and welcoming space for all. We are extremely happy that NHL players will now have the option to voluntarily represent important social causes with their stick tape throughout season.”

It was rather foreseeable, given that the NHL introduced the “Player Inclusion Coalition” in May, aimed at promoting LGBT and diversity efforts in the sport. This decision followed instances where certain players declined to wear “pride jerseys” for their teams’ Pride Night games, prompting the league to backtrack on its previous stance.

This past Saturday, Travis Dermott, a devoted player for the Arizona Coyotes on a one-year, league-minimum contract, skated onto the ice to face the Anaheim Ducks, his stick adorned with rainbow-colored tape.

The wave of “social causes” observance became widespread during the 2020 riots following George Floyd’s death and the widespread support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The NFL, NBA and MLB permitted their arenas to serve as platforms for promoting the divisive message associated with the movement. Even NASCAR joined in on the trend.

Brian Burke, former Executive Vice President of the NHL, advocated for the acceptance of Pride tape earlier this month, framing it as a “powerful community outreach tool.”

Burke released a statement, saying, “This decision has stripped clubs of a powerful community outreach tool and removed meaningful support for Special Initiatives, all to protect a select few who do not want to answer any questions about their choices. I hope the NHL reconsiders in order to remain a leader in DEI.”

But critics of Burke’s feel the league may have set itself up to follow in the footsteps of Bud Light.