EDMONTON – The Edmonton Oilers will soon become the first NHL team to take an inclusiveness project that originated in the Capital City onto the ice.
Pride Tape is rainbow-coloured, professional-grade hockey tape that shows support for LGBTQ youth in sports.
Members of the Oilers will be using the tape during the sold-out Skills Competition at Rexall Place on Jan. 24.
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“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Oilers and officially launching Pride Tape in Edmonton, a city that believes in diversity and human rights and a city that proudly supports our LGBTQ community,” said Dr. Kristopher Wells, Faculty Director with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta.
“It’s a local initiative with national reach and we’re very excited to have the Oilers be the first to support this inclusive message on the ice,” Wells said.
READ MORE: Rainbow coloured hockey tape symbol of LGBTQ support
Wells and Calder Bateman Communications partnered up to launch a Kickstarter campaign. The goal is to raise $54,000 to produce the first 10,000 rolls of tape. On Friday, the campaign was about $13,000 shy of its goal.
“When Pride Tape is funded and produced, we believe it will have the power to change attitudes in the sports world,” Wells said.
“It will help ensure that every young LGBTQ person feels welcome in sports – as players, spectators and fans.”
Supporters can donate to the Kickstarter campaign until Feb. 3, 2016.
“Many view professional hockey players as role models and our team felt this was a great initiative to let every person know they’re welcome in the game of hockey,” Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference said. “We’re all proud to play for a team and city that supports diversity and human rights.”
The Edmonton Oilers Community foundation is also making a donation to become a Founding Partner of Pride Tape.
#Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson says team is making “a very clear statement about our support for inclusiveness in sport.”
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 22, 2016