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NHL reportedly bans rainbow Pride tape — and outraged sports journalists are signaling their virtue
Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

NHL reportedly bans rainbow Pride tape — and outraged sports journalists are signaling their virtue

The National Hockey League has banned rainbow Pride tape, according to Outsports, which first reported the news and said it confirmed the policy change with a league spokesperson.

The outlet added that the Pride tape ban includes warm-up time before games, during games, and even at practices.

What's the background?

The NHL last week sent an updated memo to all teams clarifying previous guidance about what players and teams could do this season in regard to events such as Pride Night, ESPN reported, citing a league source.

More from ESPN:

A team source told ESPN earlier this week that several NHL clubs sought clarification while also expressing concern with the league's initial memo, which they considered restrictive. The NHL issued the first memo, titled "Game and Practice-Related Special Initiatives," late last week.

The update was sent because of "confusion" about the guidance, the league source said. The new, "much clearer" memo explained that restrictions cover on-ice activity and noted that "players should be encouraged to express themselves off the ice," the team source said. Player participation in club-related messaging is voluntary if permitted.

Players and teams are allowed to "celebrate and support" specialty causes, the league source said. Teams are also allowed to host the groups at games while players have the freedom to wear "whatever they want" as long as it falls within the guidelines of each team's respective dress code.

The initial memo, obtained by ESPN, explained what is permissible when it comes to events such as Black History Night, Hockey Fights Cancer Night, Military Appreciation Night and Pride Night — the latter being a much-discussed issue during the 2022-23 season.

The NHL in June banned Pride warm-up jerseys for players — and all specialty jerseys. League Commissioner Gary Bettman said the jerseys had "become a distraction."

The subject of players wearing Pride colors was a major issue last season, beginning with then-Philadelphia Flyers player Ivan Provorov, who cited his Russian Orthodox faith for refusing to skate before a Pride Night game in January since his teammates were wearing LBGTQ colors.

How are sports journalists reacting?

Readers of TheBlaze may recall that a number of sports journalists were upset by Provorov's stance, including E.J. Hradek, senior reporter for the NHL Network, who suggested Provorov could "go back" to Russia and "maybe get involved" in the war against Ukraine instead.

The NHL's ban on Pride tape has elicited similar reactions from a number of sports journalists. Cyd Zeigler, who wrote the Outsports story about the Pride tape ban, shared the following take about it in the piece: "Disgraceful. Despicable. Outrageous. Petty."

Zeigler posted the following as well:

Here's what others had to say:

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