On Wednesday, the NHL announced plans for its “Hockey Is For Everyone” month. The initiative includes the NHL, the NHL Players’ Association, and the league’s member clubs in an effort to support diversity and inclusion in the world of hockey.
The campaign is in partnership with the You Can Play Project, the non-profit organization that supports the LGBTQ community across sports. The NHL is no stranger to the You Can Play team, and has been a partner with the organization since April 2013.
This is the 19th year of the NHL’s “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiative, but it seems to be the first time the Players’ Association and teams have collaborated with the league for the project.
#HockeyIsForEveryone month begins today with diversity and inclusion initiatives every day in February. More info: https://t.co/793AnXbXki pic.twitter.com/fJY3UOL4Or— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 1, 2017
"Our Clubs, our players and our fans are committed to welcoming everyone to hockey," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said to NHL.com in a statement. "While the NHL family strives for diversity and inclusiveness all year long, February is Hockey Is For Everyone month, which will highlight, on a daily basis, the many ways our sport brings greater attention, heightened awareness and broader opportunities."
The initiative rolls in all 30 NHL teams for activities that “focus awareness on such areas as LGBTQ; ethnicity and gender equality; socio-economic status and those with disabilities.” Teams will host “Hockey Is For Everyone” nights that highlight various players from all ages and backgrounds, and one member from each team will be a You Can Play ambassador.
All 30 teams will also have “You Can Play” nights throughout the month focusing on the LGBTQ community, with pride shirts and “Pride Tape” available for fans to purchase for the first time.