Edmonton Oilers announce details for Saturday's Pride game

Mar 23 2023, 2:55 pm

The Edmonton Oilers will play with Pride on Saturday.

The Oilers will show their support for diversity, inclusion, and LGBTQ2S+ communities when they hit the ice against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, in a day featuring plenty of LGBTQ2S+ community leaders and allies.

“This night is not only about OEG and the Oilers standing alongside the 2SLGBTQ+ community as friends, allies and partners, and ensuring everyone feels welcome and included in Rogers Place and in the sport of hockey,” Tim Shipton, executive vice-president of OEG Sports & Entertainment, said in a release.

“This night is also about recognizing the work of the community leaders who have dedicated much of their lives to shifting the paradigm of diversity, equity and inclusion. This is about honouring the true heroes of this story, and it is thanks to them that one day kids of any identity or background will be able to grow up in Oil Country proud of who they are and who they love without fear of exclusion or abuse.”

It does not appear as though Edmonton will wear specialty Pride jerseys in warmups, though historically they’ve never done so. Instead, players will use Pride Tape on their sticks before auctioning them off, with net proceeds donated to MacEwan University’s Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD).

Proceeds from the Oilers 50/50, the largest in professional sports, will also support the CSGD, supporting “cutting-edge, community-based research, teaching and service work related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression throughout Oil Country,” according to the release.

The NHL’s United by Hockey Mobile Museum is making an appearance at the ICE District Plaza, featuring the game’s trailblazers, changemakers and business leaders that span across multiple underrepresented and multicultural demographics.

There will also be a series of information booths on the main concourse at Rogers Place where fans can learn about Pride Tape, the CSGD, and Who’s Hockey? — the first release in the Hockey is for Everyone children’s book series co-authored by Pride Tape co-founder Jeff McLean.

“We are thrilled to continue our important partnership with the Oilers, OEG and the EOCF,” said Dr. Kristopher Wells, co-founder of Pride Tape and Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth. “Together we are committed to creating more inclusive, welcoming, and respectful sporting and community environments. Celebrations like tonight’s game are critical in helping to educate about 2SLGBTQ+ communities and the importance of actively supporting human rights.

“Silence is never neutral. Sport is at a crossroads and we need more allies to stand up, speak out, and actively show their support for diversity, equity, and human rights. I’m proud of the work we are doing in Oil Country and the opportunity we have to continue to lead by example.”

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