From: Halifax Mussels Hockey Society
The Halifax Mussels Inclusive Hockey Society is disappointed to learn of recent guidance from the NHL that bans the use of pride themed tape, accessories and equipment from official games and warm-ups.
In recent years, the NHL has demonstrated leadership in acceptance and inclusivity in professional sport. This recent guidance that significantly limits the display of pride symbols, represents an unravelling of years of progress and advancement and demonstrates a departure from the longstanding theme that “Hockey is for Everyone”.
This change will jeopardize the progress and relationships that have been established within the diverse communities of stakeholders, sponsors, fans and players that make up the larger hockey community.
Pride themed tape and accessories play a vital role in combating transphobia and homophobia in sport. By limiting exposure to these important symbols of acceptance and inclusivity, the NHL is making a statement that the organization, at its highest levels, is not committed to diversity in sport and does not support progress that has been made by groups such as Halifax Mussels in advancing acceptance in hockey.
Halifax Mussels Inclusive Hockey Society as well as counterparts across the country recognize that this decision is not representative of individual players in the NHL and while we are disappointed by the actions of the NHL, we wish to extend a sincere thank you to those players who have expressed support for diversity and inclusion in hockey. We are calling on these players to continue supporting their teammates, family and friends that are members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community by proudly displaying symbols that promote inclusivity and acceptance, including the universal pride symbols. The support that individual players have shown to the 2SLGBTQ+ community gives us hope that despite this setback, diversity and inclusivity in hockey will continue to advance.
Halifax Mussels Inclusive Hockey Society (Halifax Mussels) is the first hockey organization in Atlantic Canada that offers a safe space for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and allies to learn and play hockey. Since 2017, Mussels Hockey has been offering the opportunities for members of the community to learn and play hockey through coached learn to play sessions and regular games with a focus on inclusivity and acceptance for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and allies. For more information see gay.hfxns.org/HalifaxMussels