Dumba and Dermott go off on the NHL in perfect rant
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Dumba and Dermott go off on the NHL in perfect rant

“They don't have answers... they follow and try to save face.”



Just prior to the start of the 2023-24 NHL season, the league effectively banned the use of rainbow colored hockey tape used to show support for Pride and the LGBTQ+ community.

The NHL, of course, made a policy change regarding the use 'special interest' jerseys for the upcoming season banning the use of Pride jerseys, Military Appreciation jerseys, Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys and other special interest jerseys. Banning the use of Pride tape, however took things to the next level.

From LGBTQ+ publisher OutSports back in September:

Outsports has learned that the NHL has issued a league-wide ban of Pride Tape on the ice with the players during warm-ups, games and even practices. A league spokesperson has confirmed this change in policy with Outsports.

The NHL was also forced to clarify a memo sent to every team recently after some expressed confusion. The main part that had teams unsure was:

Players shall not be put in the position of having to demonstrate (or where they may be appearing to demonstrate) personal support for any Special Initiatives. A factor that may be considered in this regard includes, for example, whether a Player (or Players) is required to be in close proximity to any groups or individuals visibly or otherwise clearly associated with such Special Initiative(s).

- OutSports

Personally, I always felt like this was taking things a bit far.

If a player wants to show support for a cause and they do it in a subtle way, I can't see how anyone can have a problem with it. Having rainbow tape on your stick does no harm to any one or any group... for the life of me I can't see what this policy aims to accomplish. Just more nonsense from the NHL... but what else is new?

There was some scuttlebutt around the league that players will simply opt to use rainbow colored tape and then let the chips fall where they may. Is the NHL actually going to fine a player for showing support for Pride? Do they want that PR nightmare?

Enter: Travis Dermott.

The Arizona Coyotes defenseman recently proudly donned the rainbow colored Pride tape on his stick and... guess what? Nothing happened. He wasn't fined, no one died and the Earth kept spinning. It's almost as if it was an entirely manufactured problem in the first place...

Following Dermott's silent protests the  NHL made the decision to scrap its policy and will allow players to use Pride tape should they choose.

Check it out:

What an absolute PR nightmare and a clusterfuck of a policy from the NHL.

Tell me, is it good to come out with a policy that divides an entire sport only to scrap it two weeks later after a depth defenseman signed to a league-minimum deal acts out? Is that a good way to run a professional sports league? Asking for a friend... a friend named Gary...

Just more nonsense from the NHL and, thankfully, the players are starting to call them out of it. Arizona Coyotes defenseman and outspoken activist Matt Dumba slammed the NHL yesterday for their regressive policies that he feels they simply make up with no real thought.

"Why is that even a thing?" Dumba asked The Athletic's Eric Stephens. "Why did they have to do that in the first place? You'll never get the answers from them. You'll never get the answers for that. That's just something I've come to understand. They don't have answers for a lot of things that they do. They follow and try to save face."

I've got to say... he's BANG on the money here.

"The league's going to do whatever it wants to do and they don't really think about the meaning behind things," he added. "I think they try to lay it out in whatever format it works out best for the league."

It's the NHL way. Go about business in the most convenient way possible. 

Dermott, meanwhile, is just happy to see the league admit that it made a mistake.

"It's just given the players their voice back," he said, per Stephens. "If everyone wants to wear it, if one guy wants to wear it - no one is going to be forced to wear it - but now just having that voice, I think, really speaks volumes into what the league thinks of us, what the league thinks of the community, and really backs up their line that hockey is for everyone."

Source: Mike Stephens