Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott shamed the NHL into rescinding its ban on Pride tape; Scholastic might have reconsidered its stance, too

There's been a trend this NHL season that has nothing to do with the sport's on-ice product. Several teams have announced plans to hold Pride Nights, during which players wear jerseys celebrating the LGBTQ+ community either during warmups or games -- or both.

But many of those plans have been scraped by teams after being made public. 
As the Athletic notes, five percent of the NHL's players are Russian.

"These are legitimate fears," Ben Noble, associate professor of Russian politics at University College London, told the Athletic. "'If you put on a Pride jersey, then there is uncertainty regarding how this would be interpreted by law enforcement in Russia — and that's a risk.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will no longer have teams wear themed jerseys during warmups for Pride Nights or any specialty night games going forward.
Don’t you see? The NHL had a problem, and it had to solve it. NHL teams have been holding Pride nights for 10 years and ... uh, OK, there was no problem for pretty much all of that. The first NHL Pride Night was in Florida in 2013, and for almost a decade it was a lovely little inclusive thing, along with other nights: Hockey Fights Cancer, Military Appreciation and more — from Indigenous celebration nights across Canada, to South Asian Heritage Night in Winnipeg, to Gender Equity Night in New Jersey. 
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott recently became the first player to challenge the NHL's ban of Pride Tape when he used it on his stick in a game against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. Following Dermott's decision, the NHL has rescinded its ban on players using Pride Tape, the league announced on Tuesday.
"It was kind of just an, 'All right, I'm doing this, and we're going to deal with the consequences and move forward, and hopefully I'll have a positive impact on some people that needed that positive impact.'"

Supposedly Scholastic is reconsidering appeasement, too--I haven't seen this written up anywhere, and their most recent press release is still justifying their appeasement strategy: