The NHL Doesn't Have Enough LGBT Themed Pride Nights, And Apparently That Doesn't Sit Well With Some People
Puck Daddy- 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.
Alright, I have fucking had it. I don't want to burst anyone's bubble here, but we can explain the entire reasoning that 'Pride nights' exist. They are a promotional tool. A promotional tool that the NHL teams rarely use anyway. However, when they do, it's because they have attendance, and ultimately money, in mind. NHL franchises are very accepting organizations, but they aren't having 'Pride nights' out of the goodness of their heart. The same reason that an NHL franchise would hand out a free poster is the SAME reason they would host a night dedicated to the LBGT community. It's a gimmick. A gimmick to get more people in the stadium. Doesn't matter if those people are black, white, or Rachel Dolezal. Doesn't matter if they like dicks, vaginas, cucumbers, or grapefruits. You got a beating heart and an open wallet then are accepted into an NHL arena. I would think that the growth of the homosexual community was beyond needing a party thrown in their honor to show up to a public place that's welcoming of all walks of life. After all, we are talking about going to a hockey game, not showing up to a Klan rally.
I have been to more hockey games then I can even imagine trying to count. The only Pride night I can remember is a Jewish Heritage night, and I'm pretty sure that's only because the amount of orthodox Jews had me feeling like I was watching a hockey game in the middle of a field in rural Pennsylvania. That's not to say that I haven't been to more, I just don't remember them because at the end of the day, I was there for a fucking hockey game. The way I felt about the particular group of people being celebrated before the game was the same way I was going to feel after. You know why? Because I'm an open minded, free thinking human being that doesn't need an NHL team to tell me that I live in a society where everyone is equal. The people that don't understand that certainly aren't going to change their mind by sitting next to a bunch of people that they irrationally hate at a sporting event. Here's an example. Black people have an entire month dedicated to the accomplishments of their race, yet I have never been to a Black Pride hockey game. You may want to take a seat for this one, it's a rather shocking statement. I have seen thousands upon thousands of black people happily taking in a live hockey game, and they didn't need balloons, streamers, and a shout out on the JumboTron to do so.
Here's my message to members of the LGBT community: You have already been accepted as equal members of society. You can get married now. Caitlyn Jenner has made being transgender more popular then anyone could have possibly imagined. As a society we are a few shy teenagers and a couple of closets South of the Mason Dixon away from making the heterosexual male a minority. I got to be honest. With all these gay parades and celebrations, I'm starting to feel marginalized as a straight guy, where's my fucking pride night?!? All jokes aside, if you need to be singled out to celebrate your sexuality has your sexuality really come that far? Can't we all shut the fuck up and focus on what we have in common instead of what makes us different? I don't care who you fuck, as long as you like yourself some hockey, and don't wear a Rangers or Flyers jersey, then I consider you a peer.