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Pride Tape: A Powerful Symbol that Hockey is For Everyone

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Pride Tape: A Powerful Symbol that Hockey is For Everyone

 

A Guest Blog by Jeff McLean

Still buzzing from the excitement of the night before, where Pride Tape hit the ice with the Edmonton Oilers in the You Can Play/Hockey is for Everyone Pride Game, it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come on this incredible journey. 

Not long ago, Pride Tape was just an idea. An idea that had the potential to change perceptions and lives. 

Pride Tape was created by Edmonton’s Calder Bateman Communications, as part of a long-standing relationship with The University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services.

We wanted to address the issue of hurtful, casual homophobic language in sport and felt hockey was a great place to start. Hockey not only plays a big role in our own backyards, but the NHL is the only pro sports league without a single openly gay player who could serve as a role model for the LGBT community.

To get it off the ground, we started with a simple Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of the very first 10,000 rolls of Pride Tape. It soon became something more, creating a grassroots movement that brought us together with important ambassadors such as the Edmonton Oilers, Andrew Ference, Brian Burke, and the You Can Play Team.  

Two years ago, Pride Tape was introduced to the hockey world by the Oilers at their annual Skills Competition. Their Community Foundation gave Pride Tape the boost it needed to achieve the Kickstarter campaign goal. And the rest, as they say, is hockey history.

The role of Pride Tape in the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone month is well documented in Firefly’s The NHL 100 Years in Pictures & Stories. But in the beginning, it was hard to predict its acceptance and success. Back then we thought it would be amazing if just one NHL player used it in practice. 

Today all 31 NHL teams have adopted Pride Tape as part of Hockey is for Everyone month. By championing Pride Tape, and through the League’s ongoing support and partnership with You Can Play, the message of inclusion has spread far wider than we could have ever dreamed. 

Every day we receive inspiring messages from all over the world. Pride Tape has been used by players from the Czech Republic to Korea, and international hockey organizations in the remote Indian Himalayas as well as pro leagues in Sweden, Australia, and the U.K.

It’s being wrapped on everything from baseball bats, curling brooms, hurling and field hockey sticks, to bicycles and much more. Proving that not only is hockey for everyone, but equality and inclusion are universal messages that know no bounds.

 

Find out more about the Pride Tape project on their website: www.pridetape.com

Visit us on Facebook for details on how to win a copy of our February book of the month, The NHL 100 Years in Pictures & Stories, plus 2 rolls of Pride Tape.

 


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 The NHL 100 Years in Pictures & Stories

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