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NHL players can now say gay

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NHL players can now let their Pride flag fly.

On Tuesday, the NHL reversed a ban on using Pride Tape — rainbow-striped hockey tape — and other shows of LGBTQ+ support on the ice. “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,” said the league in a statement.

The ban had been put in place over the summer, along with outlawing special jerseys. However on Saturday, Arizona Coyotes’ Travis Dermott used Pride Tape to specifically protest the ban. 

“None of the players really saw me put it on my stick,” Dermott told the Athletic in an interview. “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.'”

GLAAD celebrated the win.

“GLAAD data shows that Americans widely seek out brands and employers who take a stand in support of LGBTQ rights; and 70% of non-LGBTQ Americans agree that companies should publicly support and include the LGBTQ community through their corporate practices,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “Allowing players to express themselves while participating in this sport means encouraging individual choice and free expression, including actions that show support and make hockey more welcoming to all.”

The league’s first Pride Night of the season will take place Friday, Oct. 27.

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