EIHL Pride Weekend – It Really Does Matter

The EIHL this week announced a weekend of games showing supporting for the LBGT community and promoting the league and ice hockey in general as a game for everyone.

I have always found ice hockey as a warm and welcoming game. No matter where in the world, as a home or away fan, I have never seen any animosity towards a section of supporters. Hockey is a sport of contrasts. On the ice players will spill blood to win whilst fans will share the same bar afterwards.

When I first saw this I thought it was a bit of a gimmick. Sort of jumping on the ‘Pride’ bandwagon given how big Pride events have become. As a straight, married, white man in my 30’s I don’t think I have ever really thought or cared what the sexuality of the players or my fellow fans is and I have never felt uncomfortable at a game but the more I thought about it the more I am perhaps missing something.

I hope no one ever feels they are unable to go to a hockey game or play a game and perhaps this event will show that hockey is about competition, athleticism and sportsmanship where the badge on the jersey is more important than anything else especially someone’s sexuality.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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