Travis Dermott of the Coyotes discusses his choice to use Pride Tape, despite the NHL's ban.
During Saturday's 2-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first player to disregard the NHL's advisory prohibiting the usage of Pride Tape on stick shafts. Later on, Dermott gave an explanation of his choice and the reasons behind his strong desire to defy the league's regulation.
The NHL sent several memoranda to all 32 teams on speciality nights over the summer. A prohibition on customized warm-up jerseys and the usage of Pride Tape, rainbow-colored tape frequently used to show support for the LGBTQ community on Pride Nights, were two of the new regulations.
In spite of this, Dermott decided to use Pride Tape to adorn the top of his stick on Saturday. Dermott declared in an interview with The Athletic that he would ask for pardon rather than permission.
"None of the players really saw me put it on my stick," Dermott stated. "It was kind of just an, 'All right, I'm doing this, and we're going to deal with the consequences and move forward, and hopefully I'll have a positive impact on some people that needed that positive impact.'"
Dermott will not carry out his protest on the ice, even if he has not heard anything from the league regarding possible consequences for his actions up to this moment. Dermott stated that he did not want his actions to place his teammates, the training staff, or the Coyotes organization in a difficult situation. That does not, however, imply that Dermott will give up on his moral convictions.
"The battle is not won. By no means, definitely not," Dermott remarked. "When something like this occurs, you don't want to completely back down and keep your mouth shut, but you also need to figure out the best strategy to deal with it. Where you don't want to trip on the league's toes and really start a fight with them, but you still tell them that you believe this stuff's important, and you're supporting your franchise without making them look terrible."
Dermott stated he never wants to take anything for granted, despite the impression given by the NHL's letters that the league wants to steer clear of contentious matters. Dermott is keenly aware that not everyone in the hockey community always feels accepted.
"Once we stop thinking about that, I think that's when it gets dangerous," Dermott stated.
Throughout his career, Dermott has been a strong voice for the LGBTQ community. He announced that he will begin using social media sites like Instagram to further his message.