Designer Creates Pride-themed Sweaters for Devils
The New Jersey Devils are embracing inclusivity and diversity by hosting a special “Hockey is for Everyone” Night, which is essentially a Pride Night, against the Edmonton Oilers. Local designer Kathryn Kennedy was commissioned to create Pride-themed sweaters for the team members to wear. The Devils organization aims to make everyone feel respected and welcome, particularly those who may have struggled with coming out. Kennedy hopes her design and the Pride Night event will help others feel accepted and appreciated.
Pride Tape and Themed Jerseys Show Support
Although the Pride-themed jerseys were not worn on the ice during warm-ups due to league regulations, players from both teams, including Connor McDavid, the renowned Edmonton Oilers player, showed their support by applying Pride tape to their sticks. The league had originally banned Pride tape but later reversed the decision after players protested. McDavid has expressed his desire to see the themed jerseys back on the ice.
Upcoming Theme Nights
In addition to the “Hockey is for Everyone” Night, the Devils have planned several other special theme nights this season. These include “Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Night,” “Black History Celebration,” and “Gender Equality Night.” These events aim to acknowledge and celebrate different communities and make them feel seen, heard, and welcome.
A Continuous Fight for Inclusivity
The Devils are not the first team to hold a Pride Night this season, with other teams also showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community. The NHL has faced challenges in promoting diversity, such as when goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was threatened with punishment for wanting to wear a Native American-themed mask. Last season, player Ivan Provorov chose not to wear a Pride-themed jersey during warm-ups due to religious reasons. These incidents have sparked conversations about the balance between individual beliefs and promoting inclusivity.
The Devils’ Pride Night and other theme nights demonstrate the organization’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. By celebrating various communities, the team hopes to create a sense of acceptance and appreciation among fans and players alike.