With the euphoria of a Stanley Cup win still hanging in the air, LGBTQ St. Louis Blues fans were left scratching their heads when their beloved team's list of upcoming theme nights was released sans its annual Pride Night.
The Notes held their first LGBTQ Pride Night in 2017 with a dazzling and affirming display, which included rainbow lighting, a ceremonial puck drop, performances, swag and shout-outs celebrating inclusion, diversity and specifically, the LGBTQ community. The 2018 St. Louis Blues Pride Night was equally grand. But in 2019, after widely promoting LGBTQ Pride Night, the event was rebranded "Hockey is for Everyone" and noticeably muted in tone.
#Boom reached out to the Blues regarding the status of this season's Pride Night and were told that "Pride will be a part of Hockey is For Everyone Night again this season."
Hockey is for Everyone uses the game of hockey - and the League's global influence - to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.
Now whether or not the still unscheduled Blues' event will look more like 2017 and 2018 or the Pride-light 2019 remains to be seen. But with all 31 NHL teams hosting some form of “Inclusion Night” or Pride Night, the region's LGBTQ community is paying close attention.
"Following a historic championship season, the Blues praised their fan base as key motivators for their success," said Pride St. Louis in a statement. "In choosing to take away a night that openly welcomes our community sends a clear message that the LGBTQIA+ community is not a valued member of that fan base. Pride Nights are important, as they afford an opportunity for those in the LGBITQIA+ community who are most marginalized to enjoy a live game and stadium experience with a decreased risk of judgement.
"We hope the St. Louis Blues decide to reconsider their decision and are proactive in supporting a community which has historically supported them. We look forward to engaging in a conversation to ensure that all members of the St. Louis Blues fan base feel included."