ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues hockey team were supposed to have had their annual Pride Night at a Tuesday night game. Until that was changed at the last second.
Local media reported that Pride Night had become “Hockey is for Everyone” night with very little warning. That did not sit well with the local community.
Pride St. Louis, which had worked with the Blues on Pride Night over the past couple of years, blasted the team with a press release that said that evidently, “hockey isn’t for everyone.”
“The support from the community for the theme nights over the years has been a great success…we felt this year the team not only left us down they let the entire LGBTQIA+ community down,” said Pride St. Louis president Matt Harper.
The LGBTQ community center pointed out that several Pride related elements were left out this year such as rainbow ribbon boards, the iconic rainbow-themed Blues note on the jumbotron, announcements mentioning the LGBTQ community, the rainbow flag in the color guard, and an honorary member of the community to drop the first puck.
Boom Magaizne reported that there were some brief moments such as the Gateway Men’s Chorus singing the national anthem and a video about the transgender children’s clinic that opened in the St. Louis area in 2017. But much of the representation of the area LGBTQ community was gone.
In a statement sent to Pride St. Louis and Boom, the Blues said that Hockey for Everyone was a leaguewide project.
“Starting last year, the NHL created the ‘Hockey is For Everyone’ initiative league-wide,” said Blues Operations Director, Jason Pippi. “The goal is to communicate that hockey is an all-inclusive sport for fans, players and staff. We made every effort to recognize as many communities as possible, including the LGBTQ community.”
The team had initially told the Riverfront Times that the LGBTQ community had no reason to think they had “exclusive ownership” of the night.
Pride St. Louis questioned the changes and how they were handled. The center said that they hadn’t been informed of the changes and that the team had still sold Pride Night themed tickets.
“Many in the community feel this is a prime example of Rainbow Capitalism,” said Harper. “We were honored that the team wanted to show their support for the community, however this year we saw their true colors. Pride St. Louis learned Tuesday Night… Hockey isn’t for everyone.”