Edmonton Oilers hosting Pride Night on Saturday
By Zach Laing8 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers are set to host Pride Night on Saturday night as the Vegas Golden Knights visit Rogers Place.
Pride colours will take over the arena for the Oilers’ annual night where they say they will show support for “diversity, inclusion and 2SLGBTQ+ communities.”
In warmups, players will use Pride Tape on their sticks and they will later be auctioned off with net proceeds going to support MacEwan University’s Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD), who will also benefit from the 50/50 raffle that night.
Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman said the night is about showing everyone is welcome.
“Hockey really is for everyone,” Hyman told The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman. “I’ve got a bunch of gay friends. My best friend’s brother is gay. It’s just normal. It’s important to celebrate it and celebrate the entire community. Taping a stick is the least we can do.
“But it can show you support the entire community. More importantly, you just want to do everything you can to make everybody who doesn’t feel included in society feel included. This community has not always felt included in aspects of sport and life. For us as hockey players, it’s important to show that it doesn’t matter what your gender is, what your ethnicity is, what your race is or what your sexual orientation is. You’re welcome in the hockey world.
“A good gesture like that can show that we care.”
The Oilers have been hosting Pride Night’s using Pride Tape dating back to 2016 and have become a staple for the organization. Other teams around the league have donned Pride jerseys for warmup, something the Oilers have yet to do.
OEG executive vice-president Tim Shipton, however, told Nugent-Bowman the organization is “definitely open” to the team wearing Pride jerseys in warmups, but didn’t say if it could happen as soon as next year.
“Anything that we as an organization in support of different community initiatives and causes, we have a dialogue and communication with our players, with the team,” Shipton said. “It has to be a two-way street.
“We feel that the players are a massive part of the organization, what the fans get behind, so their voice is equally important in these conversations about the different things that the organization can be getting behind and celebrating.”
At Rogers Place, the team will be showcasing multiple 2SLGBTQ+ community leaders, including Oilers anthem singer Robert Clark, a gay man. The Oilers say there will be a number of information booths on the main concourse at Rogers Place where fans can learn more about Pride Tape, the CSGD and Who’s Hockey — ” the first release in the Hockey is for Everyone children’s book series in partnership with the NHL, co-authored by Pride Tape co-founder Jeff McLean.”
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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