It’s no secret the NHL has an uphill battle when it comes to making their arenas more welcoming places. That goes for families, that goes for women, and that goes for the LGBT community, all of whom have a collective wince reflex from having to experience some of the nonsense spewed in the cheap seats.
The NHL, at the very least, has made a surface attempt to be more proactive. Its early acceptance of the You Can Play movement was noteworthy. Every social media faux pas by its players now comes with an apology soon after – half-hearted as they are. And the Stanley Cup has now appeared in more Pride Parades than most candidates for the U.S. Presidency.
But the NHL can do more, as Jennifer Rhorer writes on Two Bearded Ladies (great Texas-based hockey blog, by the way). What surprised us was the lack of Pride Nights at NHL games, considering (a) how easy they are to schedule and execute and (b) if Six Flags can have an after-hours water park party for the LGBT community, NHL teams could at least dedicate a home game to it.
In her research, she found something a bit disconcerting: Only five teams have ever had an LGBTQIA (LGBT as well as questioning, intersex, and asexual) theme night: The Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks.
In total, just five of 30 NHL teams (16.7%) have ever hosted an LGBTQIA theme night, and only two of 30 teams (6.7%) have hosted more than one. That’s only thirteen total games over six (well, five and a half) seasons. That’s depressing and makes me want to flip a table and walk right on out of here.
She goes into detail on charity work, player appearances at LGBTQIA events and even the way NHL wives/girlfriends are designated by teams. Give it a read.
Now, to help ease your soul, here are 10 Times That Ice Hockey Was Super-Awesome To Gay People.
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