Travis Dermott took a bold stand against the NHL’s ban on Pride tape, defying expectations and advocating for the LGBTQ community.
A defenseman for the Arizona Coyotes, Dermott is not a high-profile player with a big contract. He’s a journeyman, playing for his third team in three years, and his contract pays him more if he stays in the NHL.
Despite the risks, Dermott wrapped his stick with rainbow-colored Pride tape during the Coyotes’ home opener. He didn’t inform the team beforehand, knowing that his actions would draw attention and potentially face repercussions.
Dermott’s decision to defy the NHL’s ban speaks to his understanding that marginalized groups need allies to amplify their voices. He believes that if we turn a blind eye to the struggle faced by these communities, it becomes dangerous.
Being an ally means recognizing and utilizing the privilege one has to advocate for those facing discrimination. It means directing the spotlight towards marginalized individuals, even if it’s inconvenient.
While it’s commendable to wear a T-shirt, participate in a parade, or display supportive posters, Dermott’s act of resistance and courage stands out. By visibly showing his support on the ice, he challenges the NHL’s attempt to stifle players’ expression of their beliefs.
The NHL had implemented the ban on Pride tape and other displays of support for specific causes to avoid controversy. However, Dermott, a staunch LGBTQ ally, persisted in using the tape because it aligned with his values.
Dermott’s parents instilled in him the importance of being a role model. He understood the impact NHL players had on him as a young fan, and he aspires to have a similar effect on today’s youth. By displaying positive messages, he wants to ensure that love and acceptance are ingrained in the minds of young people.
After Dermott’s bold move, the NHL rescinded its ban on Pride tape and allowed players to use it as a means of representing social causes. Furthermore, Dermott is not expected to face any penalties for his actions.
Former NHL executive Brian Burke applauded the decision and expressed gratitude to everyone who supported LGBTQ+ inclusion in hockey, particularly acknowledging Dermott’s bravery.
Dermott’s personal connection to the LGBTQ community, coupled with his interactions and experiences, has shown him that the lives and aspirations of LGBTQ individuals are no different from his own. They deserve to be seen, accepted, and celebrated.
In conclusion, Dermott’s act of defiance challenges the notion that the LGBTQ community should be suppressed. He believes that athletes have a unique platform to spread love, and if they fail to do so, their purpose becomes questionable.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on social media @nrarmour.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Arizona Coyotes Travis Dermott shows what it means to be an LGBTQ ally
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.