This is really impressive and shows exactly how progressive the NHL, and hockey players in general, are for equal rights. In my personal experience, all the hockey players I have known are animals on the ice and teddy bears in real life. Overall, it tend to be a very accepting and loving group of athletes. There has been a growth in the number of fans of the NHL over the past few years with more people buying tickets and taking part in Fantasy Hockey (see https://www.fanduel.com/fantasy-hockey for more) It is hoped that these new pride shirts will help bring in more fans from the LGBT community as many show an interest in sports but don’t feel confident enough to become a fan.
All sports fans are aware of how popular their favourite team’s merchandise can be. Anything from jerseys, hats and custom t shirts sell out almost immediately when they advertise their latest range. But if you’re not interested in the sport, you wouldn’t know how popular they are. With that being said, to get specific messages across, like equal rights, printing them on merchandise than can be sold via the teams could be a great promotion tool to take advantage of when it’s something that means so much to you. Who knows, you may decide to become a fan in the near future if this is something that happens. SFGN reports,
“In a continuing effort to promote inclusivity, the National Hockey League is bringing pride to the forefront.
As a continuation of the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone month, the league is selling pride shirts for all 30 teams. The gray men’s T-shirts feature the logo of each team in rainbow colors.
“Hockey is for Everyone uses the game of hockey – and the League’s global influence – to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities,” the NHL writes on the store page. “We support any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink.”
For some teams, the LGBT pride shirts are top sellers. Each T-shirt is $23.99 and available on the NHL website.”
To put this in comparison, I feel we are decades away from seeing the NFL doing something like this.