January 30, 2023 — Athlete Ally responded today to news that the New York Rangers, who play in the National Hockey League (NHL), failed to participate in Friday’s Pride night as planned during their game against the Golden Knights. The Rangers had promised fans they would wear Pride-themed jerseys and tape during pre-game warm ups, but went back on that promise and wore their usual uniforms.
On Saturday afternoon, the Rangers released the following statement: “Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night,” the statement read. “In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”
“Pride nights are an opportunity to meaningfully celebrate the LGBTQI+ community, and that includes closeted athletes and fans who are looking to see if their favorite team truly sees them and welcomes them,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “We are incredibly disheartened by the Rangers’ failure to follow through on demonstrating support for the LGBTQI+ community, and in doing so, perpetuating the already rampant silence and stigma around LGBTQI+ inclusion in hockey. Inclusivity is a value, not a belief, and sport will only change for the better if that value is universally incorporated.”