The Vancouver Canucks will wear themed warm-up jerseys when they host the Calgary Flames for their annual Pride celebration game Friday.
The team announced Wednesday that the jerseys will be designed by a local artist, and that a $20,000 donation will be made to QMUNITY, which is a Vancouver non-profit that supports LGBTQ2 people and their allies.
The move comes as controversy over Pride uniforms continues to bubble around the league.
A handful of players, including Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Ivan Provorov, San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer, Eric and Marc Staal of the Florida Panthers, and Buffalo Sabres blue liner Ilya Lyubushkin, have declined to wear Pride-themed jerseys.
Canucks assistant captain Quinn Hughes says there wasn’t debate in the locker room about wearing them.
“I think everyone in this room is looking forward to it,” he said. “And I know in our organization, everyone’s welcome.
“Every time we’ve done Pride night, I’ve worn the jersey and celebrated the night.”
Canucks president of business operations Michael Doyle said in a statement that celebrating the LGBTQ2 community is important to the entire organization.
“Pride night and all the incredible activities that highlight this evening, is special for a number of reasons,” he said.
“Besides raising awareness and understanding, it also lets our fanbase know that everyone is welcome here at Rogers Arena. Our club believes strongly in diversity and inclusion, and we look forward to celebrating these core values with our community.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.