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NHL Reverses Course, Rescinds Ban on Pride Tape

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Two weeks after banning the use of rainbow-striped Pride Tape in games, pregame activities, and even practices, the NHL has reversed course and lifted the ban. The tape will now be permitted during practices and games.

In a statement yesterday, the league said:

“After consultation with the NHL Players’ 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 about-face came three days after Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott defied the ban by using the rainbow-patterned tape on the shaft of his stick (but not the blade) on  Saturday:

Dermott will not be punished for violating the ban.

Whatever you think of the tape, it’s hard to imagine anyone handling this issue worse than the NHL has done. What a fiasco.



Our World Series Matchup

Here’s a fun fact: This will be the first World Series in which neither team uses a city as part of its official name!

I’ll have a lot more content like that in my annual Uni Watch World Series Preview, which will be up on Substack tomorrow.



Can of the Day

Wow indeed!

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Big thanks to everyone who sent kind words and thoughts about the new Uni Watch mascots. I’ll share some more pics of them soon!

Comments (21)

    I think getting rid of special warmup jerseys was a smart move. Those jerseys created a situation where individual players felt like they were being forced by their teams to do things that made them uncomfortable, and that’s never a good look. (Plus, I think special warmup jerseys are stupid in general, and furthermore, get off my lawn.)

    Banning tape took it too far. No team was forcing their players to use Pride tape (as far as I know), so that was an unnecessary restriction. In that case, I say let the players do what they want.

    i think that its unfortunate that the reason that pregame jerseys were gotten rid of is because players were unwilling/unable to support gay people having rights, but i also agree that i think they are all dumb and i dont like them

    The special warmups, in the minors, tends to be sponsor-driven. Look at the Providence Bruins; they have worn jerseys with huge Dunkin’ Donuts logos on them.

    This is the right move. Allow players to express their support if they want to without putting players in a difficult situation by requiring participation as the jerseys did. In a league that has about 60 Russian players, jerseys will cause problems as long as Russia has laws against their citizens promoting same sex relationships. The tape allows players to show support if they want.

    It’s more than Russia, moreover. A player of small-o orthodox religious belief might also find himself at odds with many now-popular sentiments, on sex and on other subjects. It wouldn’t be right to put that athlete in such a position, even if a foreign government wasn’t involved.

    What about when that personal choice, say, results in a given player wearing tape in the color of the Palestinian flag? Will the league and Players’ Association support that player’s ability to express themselves?

    I support their right to tape up like that. However, freedom of choice does not mean freedom from consequences.

    It was a fiasco, but at least I will give credit to the NHL for admitting they were wrong and reversing course.

    The purpose of a uniform is to make the TEAM stand out and look alike for identity and camaraderie.

    100%. But there’s a certain charm to how players express their individuality within these confines. Kareem’s goggles, Iverson’s arm sleeve, Craig Biggio’s pine tar stained helmet, Michael Johnson’s golden cleats, are all a part of these athletes’ legacies. Someone having a stick, bat, gloves, etc. that stands out from the rest of the team doesn’t take away from the uniform itself.

    Respectfully, I’d have to disagree. Those athletes’ legacies are what they did on the field, not their uniform quirks. And all the examples you mention were bad precedents whose example HAS, in fact, taken away from the uniform itself.

    the goggles were to be able to see, no problem there. The pinetar helmets, those should be outlawed and burned, preferably while the idiots who do that are still wearing them.

    Agree…but I really try to defer to the players these days…they the ones skating, slamming, blocking, colliding, so if they want some individuality, I can enjoy the “nuance”, even when it’s called political, it’s probably just personal to them, ….and we all understand that to some degree

    “After consultation with the NHL Players’ 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.”

    So why didn’t you just consult with them before you laid down your heavy-handed ban that showed once again what a clown show the NHL is?

    Never change, NHL. (oh, don’t worry, I know you won’t)

    I believe this is also the first World Series played by teams with grass-free home stadiums since Phillies-Blue Jays in ’93.

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