Teamwork, inclusion, respect, and acceptance are at the heart of hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres have come together to celebrate these defining principles in our joint Pride Game, a first in the NHL. Starting in 2020.21 and again in 2021.22, while our teams competed on the ice, we brought together our cities to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities, by sharing stories of inclusion, hope, and allyship.
Tickets were available for our Pride community and allies via a special offer during both seasons. All fans attending Pride Game received a complimentary Pride Game rally towel, with towels in 2021.22 courtesy of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
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.
Proud Haven's mission is to provide a safe shelter for LGBTQIA+ youth (ages 18-25) experiencing homelessness in Pittsburgh. Proud Haven also provides emotional support and resources to help LGBTQIA+ youth develop the skills needed to live independently. Deeply troubling national statistics have found that 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQIA+. Available data suggests that conditions are similar in the Pittsburgh region.
Persad Center is a human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ communities and the HIV/AIDS communities. Persad Center serves their target populations and their loved ones, cradle to grave, across Western Pennsylvania, with service centers in Pittsburgh and Washington, PA.
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.
Niagara Pride, Inc.
Niagara Pride, Inc. (NP) envisions an LGBTQ+ community in which individuals and families feel safe, secure, and affirmed where they live, work, worship, and play, especially in the Niagara County and surrounding areas. NP strives to be an integrated part of the social fabric of Niagara County.
The Penguins and Sabres hosted a 7-day joint auction starting on November 16 in support of our LGBTQ+ communities in conjunction with Pride Game. This one-of-a-kind auction at pridegame.givesmart.com featured Pride Tape sticks from both NHL clubs, rainbow warm-up jerseys and more. Proceeds will assist You Can Play, GLYS Western New York, Proud Haven, Pride Center of Western New York, Persad Center and Niagara Pride.
Both the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins hit the ice using Pride Game warm-up pucks created exclusively for our joint game. Fans had the opportunity to purchase their own at PPG Paints Arena 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.
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 line was designed with equality, inclusion and representation in mind. This limited edition hat line has been available each season in conjunction with the Pride Game.
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.
On April 2, the Penguins and Sabres together announced their first-ever joint Pride Game held during the 2020.21 NHL season. Read each organization’s press release via these links to learn more about the partnership.
Below, please find each organization’s press release for the 2021.22 joint Pride Game.