Teamwork, inclusion, respect, and acceptance are at the heart of hockey. On Saturday, April 17, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres came together to celebrate these defining principles in the first-ever joint Pride Game in the NHL. While our teams competed on the ice, we aimed to bring together our cities to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities, by sharing stories of inclusion, hope, and allyship.
Please review the below ways that you can support our Pride initiatives, auction, and more!
A limited number of Pride Game tickets were available for the April 17 match-up in Buffalo, NY. The Sabres and Penguins provided complimentary tickets to several LGBTQ+ organizations with all fans attending the game receiving a complimentary Pride Game rally towel.
You Can Play
In 2012, Brian and Patrick Burke helped launch the You Can Play Project, with a goal of ensuring the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play achieves this by creating a community of allies that are able to foster a true sense of belonging. You Can Play was founded in honor of the late Brendan Burke – Brian’s son and Patrick’s brother.
The Pittsburgh Tigers are hockey fans, players and friends in the Pittsburgh area who want to create an open and supportive environment for gay, lesbian, bi, transgender and other minority hockey. The Tigers play in leagues in the local area, participate in road tournaments, get together to watch games and just love the game of hockey.
GLYS Western New York, “Growing LGBTQ+ Youth Support”
GLYS provides a safe and positive environment for LGBTQ+ youth to learn more about themselves through peer interaction and educational experiences. The organization creates opportunities for emotional growth and community awareness. GLYS provides LGBTQ+ youth with positive role models and a safe space, while promoting positive self-esteem and the integration of these youth into the larger community. GLYS also assists youth and their families by providing resources and referrals.
Pride Center of Western New York
The Pride Center of Western New York, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. The mission of the Pride Center is to work with the community to make Western New York a safe, healthy, and satisfying place for LGBTQ people to live, work and establish their families.
The Penguins and Sabres hosted a 7-day joint auction in support of our LGBTQ+ communities in conjunction with Pride Game. This one-of-a-kind auction featured Pride Tape sticks from both NHL clubs, rainbow warm-up jerseys and more. The benefitting organizations included GLYS Western New York, You Can Play, Pride Center of Western New York and the Pittsburgh Tigers.
Both the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins hit the ice using these Pride Game warm-up pucks created exclusively for our joint game. Fans had the opportunity to purchase their own in support of the featured Penguins and Sabres organizations.
Pride Tape is a badge of support from teammates, coaches, parents and pros to young LGBTQ+ players. It shows every player that they belong playing the sports they love. That we’re all on the same team. Buying Pride Tape will help support LGBTQ+ youth outreach initiatives, such as You Can Play and the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. That means every roll of tape will make an impact in sports and beyond.
For $25, fans had the opportunity to order a Penguins Pride Puck in support of You Can Play and the Pittsburgh Tigers. Side #1 of the Penguins Pride Puck featured a rainbow pattern, while fans were able to design Side #2 with an enclosed set of four (4) Pride decals. The decals featured messaging to celebrate the Pride community and share the allyship of our fans.
Watch our Pride Panel hosted by Jonas Worth with You Can Play. Panelists include Bayne Pettinger (NHL Player Agent, CAA), Alex Valvo (Referee & Former Sabres Intern), Adam Knoerzer (Pittsburgh Tigers Co-Founder & Player) and Jeff McLean (Pride Tape Founder & Owner).
In partnership with Jason Zucker’s Give16 campaign and UNRL, the Give16 Pride Hat was designed with equality, inclusion and representation in mind. This limited edition hat was available in conjunction with the Pride Game in April. Keep an eye out in case these exclusive hats drop once again!
Our joint Pride Game featured an opportunity to support the Pride Center of Western New York thanks to our Fan Cutouts! Each cutout ordered by April 9 benefitted the Pride Center of WNY. Keep an eye out during the Pride Game to see if yours is featured via the broadcast, on our social media channels or online. What was even cooler? This opportunity was open to Pens fans too!
Since the original 8-striped Pride flag was debuted in 1978, there have been several variations, the most well-known and commonly used being the six-striped flag. As our LGBTQ+ movement has become more inclusive and aware of itself, various segments have created their own flags to fly alongside the Pride flag. The warm-up jerseys for our Pride Game feature the Progress Pride Flag on the shoulder. In 2018, the Progress Pride Flag was created by Daniel Quasar to be more inclusive. Overlaying the traditional six-striped rainbow flag is a chevron design that has the black and brown stripes from the Philly Pride flag, as well as white, pink, and blue from the Trans Pride flag.