Pride Night shouldn’t be a choice for sports teams; it should be a given

Everybody wants to be comfortable in their own skin. That’s the indelible fight every time we leave the house to venture out into the world. A world that can be harsh, quick to judge, and remorseless with their gaze.

It’s even harder to go to a place where the lights are brighter and the judgement stream flows a lot faster, especially for people whose choices are treated more unfairly by others. It was during the past couple of weeks where NHL teams and Pride Night were brought up, and how the St. Louis Blues are one of the teams that don’t have a game marked for Pride Night this season.

Some would say it’s bad timing with the All Star Game festivities washing through St. Louis and bringing in extra revenue, up to $20 million, but that can also be the time to get loud. I think it’s horseshit that the Blues don’t have a Pride Night this season. I am embarrassed that it was even a tough decision or close call. If we can have Star Wars night, we can have a night to celebrate equality. Something that’s maddeningly prevalent and still, rather unfortunately, not a common thing during our current climate.

I’d like to know the real reason for this oversight. I’d love for a Blues executive to sit down and explain it to me like Denzel Washington’s lawyer asked in “Philadelphia,” like a five year old. Please, enlighten me! Tell me why one of the 41 games on the schedule couldn’t be put up for the LGBTQ community to feel like they can be themselves for one night. And please table that incoming bullshit argument that suggest they could and should come to every game.

I’m sorry to inform you of some “No Shit” news, but homophobia is still a potent idea these days. It’s not like gay marriage was made legal across the country and everyone would instantly fall in line and accept that love happens in different forms in our world. It just doesn’t happen that way. People need time to clear the debris out of their heads for something so simple to fit in. Homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender individuals deserve a night for them to feel welcome and joined by several others in the LGBTQ community.

A lot of teams in the NHL have a Pride Night. Philadelphia hosted one recently. The Washington Capitals hosted one on Jan. 7. The Florida Panthers will have one in February. The Chicago Blackhawks have their first planned in March. Two years ago, every NHL team had a Pride Night. It’s not a rare thing or something being practiced. For the majority of teams, it’s an annual thing. So why do the Blues not have one this year? There’s a great piece over at St. Louis Game Time, but I wanted to weigh in on what is happening as well.

Are they worried about alienating their general audience, or the ones who have disdain for free will and sexual freedom?

Are they worried that the secret will come out and Louie will come out as gender-neutral?

Are they trying to find a different way to work their message across?

Let me just go ahead and tell you that the “Hockey is for Everyone” night is a poor attempt to make up for this. We all know hockey is for everyone, but unfortunately, plenty of people still think sexuality should fit into what they have in mind and not the individual struggling to be comfortable in their own skin.

If this were a perfect world, this wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone would be accepted for who they were when they walked outside their home. That’s now our world, not even in 2020. It’s a painfully cynical and stubborn group out there who still have their designs on forcing their beliefs down people’s throats.

If you are fiercely religious and think LGBTQ is so wrong, I won’t waste my time fighting you about it. But I’d also ask for you to keep an open mind on at least one night of the NHL schedule. If not, stay the fuck home and watch the game.

Being an Uber driver, I get to experience a heavy and rather eclectic dose of humanity. Every weekend, I drive different people around and see them in (or at times out) of their element. I drive men, women, girls, boys, and people of all ages. I am a purveyor of life and its experiences. I get a lot of pickups at J.J.’s and Just Johns, two bars near The Grove that are popular for their LGBTQ crowd. Out of the 3,507 rides I’ve taken on Uber, those crowds are the easiest to drive. They are happy, funny, smiling, and all around good people wanting to have a good time.

One night a year, St. Louis Blues, that should be accommodating for your building. One night a year, Pride Night should take place in St. Louis. I sincerely hope this happens in the 2020-21 season.

You can be champions on the ice, but being champions off the ice is a great thing as well.

One thought on “Pride Night shouldn’t be a choice for sports teams; it should be a given

  1. So, I am fiercely religious and no amount of hate or intolerance from any side is going to change that. My beliefs are what they are and I am not going to be bullied into group think. I have many dear friends that, while we don’t agree on lifestyle choices, we at least agree on caring for each other. Respect and admiration while disagreeing on some things can exist.

    Here is my issue though, this is a sports team, a hockey game, an a-political event meant to bring everyone together to cheer for your team. Why not let it be just that? I have attended pride nights with both teams because I had tickets and wanted two watch the game.

    On to my final point. Your story is so riddled with hypocrisy, as most of these articles on group think are, that you lose your high ground. In one paragraph you talk about how it is painfully obvious how we still have people forcing their beliefs down others threats and yet you advocate to do the same with the pride night. You also say in the very next paragraph that if someone doesn’t like it they can stay the fuck home. Do you see the hypocrisy? Is it just that you believe your right to force your support of a very small minority down our throats is a greater benefit than us being allowed to live unperturbed by what we dont agree with?

    Why not let it be a hockey is for everyone? Highlighting the fact that we want everyone as community, regardless of all qualifiers, to be a fan of hockey is sufficient. Unless of course this isn’t about acceptance at all. Hockey is and should be for every single sports fan that wants to embrace it. Sexuality doesn’t matter. Race doesn’t matter. Disability doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we love each other equally.

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