Coyotes’ Travis Dermott: NHL still ‘lagging behind’ after reversal of Pride Tape ban

Oct 27, 2023, 12:23 PM

Travis Dermott, Arizona Coyotes Pride Tape...

Travis Dermott #33 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against Jakob Silfverberg #33 of the Anaheim Ducks at Mullett Arena on October 21, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)

(Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)

The NHL announced in June that teams were no longer able to wear “specialty” items during warmups, practices or games. Before the season began, the NHL clarified that players cannot alter their uniforms and equipment to reflect “specialty” theme nights.

The ban included Pride Tape, something that’s been a part of pro ice hockey for seven years. The restriction caused backlash throughout the sport as the NHL once embraced the tape when it was introduced.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first player to defy the ban last Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Dermott decided to wrap his stick with Pride Tape, a decision he made due to a close relationship with a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Due to the overwhelming support of Dermott following his silent statement, the NHL reversed course, allowing players to support social causes with symbolic tape.

“I think we’re still really lagging behind in the hockey community in showing our support for this community,” Dermott told reporters before the Coyotes on Friday hosted the Los Angeles Kings for Pride Night at Mullett Arena. “Seeing our voice taken a little bit, it kind of hurt me and with the people close to me and giving me the confidence to take that first step, I felt comfortable enough doing it.”


Though Dermott’s action was quiet, a photo of him and his taped stick went viral on social media.

He received overwhelming support from people who were impacted by his statement.

With one child at home and another on the way, he wanted to set a clear example for not just fans and players, but his own loved ones.

“As a straight male, I don’t really understand how much impact I can have and how much impact I did have,” he said. “You just try to understand as much as you can. Talking to the people and seeing these messages gives you a better idea, but still, you really don’t know.”

When the ban took place, many players league-wide expressed their concern. Now, players can enjoy the freedom bestowed upon them throughout the season.

“How everything kind of unfolded is better than I ever expected,” Dermott said. “I don’t think the war is over by any means. I still think we’ve got a lot of work to do.”


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Coyotes

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) carries the puck in front of Arizona Coyotes defens...

Associated Press

Auston Matthews scores twice as Toronto hands Arizona its 11th straight loss

Auston Matthews scored twice Wednesday night in the Toronto Maple Leafs star’s hometown return in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.

7 hours ago

Arizona Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny...

Vincent DeAngelis

Tourigny: Coyotes must focus amidst losing streak, doubts over future arena

Arizona Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny spoke about the Coyotes' 10-game losing streak and how future arena plans are a "distraction"

2 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Arizona Coyotes’ André Tourigny on rebuilding, distractions caused by comments on future arena

Arizona Coyotes head coach André Tourigny join Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta in studio for the first day of Newsmakers Week and reflected on the current state of the team, urgency to rebuild and distractions caused by comments on the future arena. Video: Felisa Cárdenas and Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports Photo: Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports

2 days ago

Nick Bjugstad #17 of the Arizona Coyotes shoots to score a goal past Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Edmo...

Tom Kuebel

Lapses in the 3rd period doom the Coyotes in loss to Oilers

The Arizona Coyotes allowed four Edmonton Oilers goals in the third period to squander a chance at snapping their 10-game losing streak.

3 days ago

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba...

Associated Press

Coyotes surrender go-ahead goal in 3rd period vs. Avalanche to drop 9th straight game

Lawson Crouse and Logan Cooley scored, but the Arizona Coyotes dropped their ninth straight game Sunday at the Avalanche.

3 days ago

Karel Vejmelka...

Alex Weiner

Coyotes’ spiral reaches 8 games with loss to Hurricanes: ‘We need to be more detailed’

Missed chances and a costly turnover doomed the Coyotes to their eighth consecutive loss on Friday at Mullett Arena. 

5 days ago

Coyotes’ Travis Dermott: NHL still ‘lagging behind’ after reversal of Pride Tape ban