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Rainbow tape OK in the NHL again as league rescinds social cause ban

League says players will have option to represent social causes with stick tape throughout season
An Ottawa Senators player warms-up with rainbow-coloured hockey tape prior to taking on the Vancouver Canucks in NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The NHL has rescinded its ban on players using stick tape to support social causes, including rainbow-coloured Pride tape.

The league said in a statement Tuesday that players will have the option to represent social causes with stick tape throughout the season.

The statement, which the NHL said came after consultation with the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, made no mention of jerseys and other equipment.

The league sent out a memo to teams earlier this month that reiterated a ban on altering on-ice gear for warmups and official team practices to reflect theme nights.

The decision on rainbow-coloured tape came after the league received widespread criticism last season when a handful of players opted out of wearing Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community.

Players across the league — including Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly — expressed disappointment in the NHL’s decision to ban Pride tape.

Arizona Coyotes defenceman Travis Dermott was the first player to defy the order on Pride tape when he sported it on his stick over the weekend.

READ ALSO: McDavid no fan of NHL decision on themed jerseys after Pride refusals