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Devils Devise Workaround So Players Can Wear Pride Night Jerseys

As you probably know, this season the NHL banned all pregame theme jerseys (Pride, military, heritage, etc.) after last season’s Pride jersey controversy. Most teams are still holding Pride Night promotions this season, and they’re even commissioning new Pride jerseys, which they’re auctioning off for charity, but those jerseys are not being worn by the players during their pregame skate.

The Devils, however, have come up with a workaround for their Pride Night, which is tomorrow. The team announced today that when the players arrive at the arena prior to tomorrow’s game against the Oilers, they will be wearing this year’s Pride jersey (shown above), which was designed by local artist Kathryn Kennedy. Per ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, this move is permissible as long as the players don’t wear the jerseys on the ice.

It’s not yet clear if all New Jersey players will wear the Pride design or if some will opt out.

The team will presumably share photos of the player arrivals on social media, and the jerseys will then be auctioned off to benefit the HIV services provider Hyacinth.

The move is the latest development in the NHL’s back-and-forth maneuvering over Pride messaging. Earlier this year, the league banned the use of rainbow-patterned Pride stick tape but quickly backpedaled when players and teams indicated that they’d use the tape despite the ban.

Comments (14)

    I don’t know why they felt like they had to use a loophole. The NHL has been pretty clear they are not doing anything to anyone who violates the rule.

    It may not be the exact same rule, but you noted that pride tape was banned on-ice before a player used it anyway. Same thing for Marc-Andre Fleury’s mask for Native American Heritage night about a month ago. The league said he couldn’t wear it, yet he did anyway and received no punishment. The NHL needs to either find a spine or a brain, because they haven’t used either one while instituting these “rules.”

    The Kraken have done something similar, for special nights with commemorate jerseys they’ve had their players wear them into the arena on arrival and posting the photos and videos on their social media channels.

    Irrespective of one’s feelings on Pride celebrations, just looking at the jerseys, they are sweet!

    I like how minimalist it looks with no shoulder yoke or stripe at the waist, but that chest logo just doesn’t do it for me. The bubbles/circles look very out of place.

    Glad to hear that teams are working around this stupid rule that the league made, would really like to see a team finally shove the rule away once and for all. Doesn’t even need to be a Pride jersey. Do Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys or something and really force their hand through making them shut down a wholly uncontroversial cause like that.

    The Boston Bruins did this for Hockey Fights Cancer night: link

    Strangely, they did not do this for Military Appreciation night. The other theme night they had was Hockey is for Everyone Night – they did not have a specialty jersey for this, either.

    A survey this week showed that the NHL is now regarded as by far the least LGBT-friendly of the big 4 leagues. Last year they were a close second MOST friendly. link

    The sad irony behind all of this is that it was the outrage from people in support of the jerseys that got them banned. If we all just ignored that one guy who didn’t wear it, the rest of the league would still be wearing them today.

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