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Travis Dermott Delivers Powerful Message with Rainbow-Colored Hockey Stick Tape
In a bold move during a game, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott defied the NHL ban on altering on-ice gear for warmups and practices, choosing to wrap the shaft of his hockey stick with rainbow-colored tape to show his support for social causes, including the LGBTQIA+ community.
The decision was met with a mix of anticipation and uncertainty for Dermott, who wondered how his action would be received. He admitted, “A bunch of thoughts are going through your head… How fast is it going to blow up? How much is it going to blow up? Is anyone even going to notice?” However, Dermott remained resolute, stating, “It had to be done. I was going to deal with whatever came my way.”
What transpired was an overwhelming outpouring of support for Dermott’s stance. Furthermore, less than 72 hours after his game, the NHL announced a reversal of their ban on displaying social causes through stick tape.
Reflecting on his decision, the 26-year-old from Newmarket, Ontario acknowledged the importance of raising awareness under the spotlight of televised games. Dermott said, “My parents really made it an important lesson that you want to be the best influence you can for the next generation.”
Pride nights have become a contentious topic in hockey, with some players choosing not to participate in warmups when their team wears rainbow-themed jerseys. This season, teams are prohibited from wearing any type of theme jerseys, including those for military appreciation and Hockey Fights Cancer, during warmups.
Many players across the league voiced their disappointment with the league’s guidance.
Dermott emphasized that standing up for what is right is not always easy. However, his new perspective as a father, with another child on the way, compelled him to take a stand. “And with the amount that I care about [the LGBTQIA+] community and the amount of ties that I had before doing this, and now the amount of people that have come out of the woodwork saying that this affected them in a way that I didn’t even think was possible … it lets you know it was probably the right move,” he stated.
Despite the potential risks, such as the uncertainty surrounding his contract after a difficult previous season, Dermott was resolute. “That alone pushed me to go through with this,” he said. “As well as the support from my team … they gave me the confidence to stand up for what was right.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Sarah Anderson dives into the fast-paced world of NHL hockey. Her coverage includes game analysis, player spotlights, and the latest news from the ice. Sarah’s dedication to the sport ensures that hockey enthusiasts stay informed about the NHL’s thrilling action.