The NHL has issued new steering to groups prohibiting gamers from taking part in various theme nights this season, in keeping with reviews.
The up to date steering states on-ice gamers can not alter their uniforms or gear to replicate theme night time celebrations, together with LGBTQ+ delight, army appreciation, Hockey Fights Most cancers, Latino Heritage Month, and Black Historical past Month. The ban — which incorporates acts comparable to utilizing rainbow-colored tape on hockey sticks — extends to workforce video games, warmups, and practices.
NHL gamers can, nevertheless, voluntarily take part in theme celebrations when not taking part in.
The NHL issued the up to date steering in a memo despatched to groups forward of Tuesday’s regular-season opening video games for the 2023-24 season.
Delight Tape, a maker of rainbow-colored sports activities tape in assist of the LGBTQ+ group, mentioned it’s “extraordinarily upset by the NHL’s determination to remove Delight Tape from any league on-ice actions.”
“The league has used language in latest days that might prohibit the tape from any proximity to NHL hockey,” Delight Tape mentioned in a press release. “We hope the league — and groups — will once more present dedication to this essential image of combating homophobia.”
The up to date steering comes months after the NHL in June introduced groups would now not be allowed to put on “specialty” jerseys — celebrating lots of the similar aforementioned theme nights — throughout video games, warmups, or practices.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned that call “took the distraction away” after a number of of the league’s gamers refused to put on Delight Evening jerseys final season.
“What occurred final yr was that the difficulty of who wished to put on a specific uniform on a specific night time overshadowed all the things that our golf equipment have been doing. So what we mentioned, as an alternative of getting that distraction and having our gamers should resolve whether or not or not they wished to do one thing or not do one thing and be singled out, we mentioned, ‘Let’s not contact that,’” Bettman instructed ESPN Radio’s “UnSportsmanLike” on Tuesday.
“Something across the sport, something off the ice, our groups and our gamers are constantly inspired to present again to the communities and get entangled within the causes that they discover essential,” he added. “However what I feel we did is we took the distraction away. And so now the focus could be on the causes that we need to spotlight.”
Story by Zach Mentz, cleveland.com. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company.