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‘We will always support’ Pride, Canucks captain says as NHL bans rainbow tape

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Canucks react to NHL ban on Pride tape'
Vancouver Canucks react to NHL ban on Pride tape
The NHL announced it was banning the use of rainbow coloured Pride tape for all on-ice activities. – Oct 11, 2023

The Vancouver Canucks’ new captain is pledging continued support for the LGBTQ2 community, after the NHL’s most recent move to ban Pride symbols from the ice.

The league moved in June to ban Pride and other specialty warm-up jerseys after a handful of players balked at wearing them, calling it a distraction from the game.

In updated guidance issued this month, the league further clarified that players will also be banned from using rainbow-coloured Pride tape for any league 0n-ice activities.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Oilers players decry NHL’s decision to ban Pride Tape'
Edmonton Oilers players decry NHL’s decision to ban Pride Tape

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, captain Quinn Hughes said the Canucks remained committed in their support to the community, tape or no tape.

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“I’ve preached it before, last year in this locker room, this organization, with Pride we will always support that,” he said.

“It starts at the top of the organization with the (franchise owner) Aquilinis on down, and whether we are wearing the tape or the jerseys, that will be something we always support. We may not be doing anything on the ice, but we will still be doing other things off the ice to support it.”

Fans hoping for a display of defiance against the new league rules, however, will be disappointed, according to Canucks general manager Patrick Allvin.

“Decisions like that, that’s something we follow the NHL, what they recommend,” he said.

“I think this organization has done a lot of good things in the community … and we will continue to do that. But we definitely follow the league rules.”

Click to play video: 'NHL bans ’cause-based’ jersey during Pride Month'
NHL bans ’cause-based’ jersey during Pride Month

Rainbow tape in support of Pride first debuted with the Edmonton Oilers in 2016.

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The move to ban the tape drew a sharp rebuke from the You Can Play Project, an organization that advocates for diversity in sports.

In a statement Tuesday the group said that it was “extremely disappointed” by the NHL’s move, and that it hoped the league would one day again “show commitment to this important symbol of combating homophobia.

The group said the NHL is “stepping back” from its commitment to inclusion, and risking the progress made on increasing diversity in the sport.

You Can Play board chair David Palumbo told Global News the existence of the LGBTQ2 community “is not a distraction.”

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Youth — particularly at the early levels of sports — often quit if they feel they aren’t welcome or can’t be themselves with their teammates.

“It’s simply an existence of a community recognizing that you exist. There is not special treatment,” he said.

“We are not a special cause. This isn’t special considerations or anything like that.”

 — with files from Global’s Emily Mertz

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