“I’m an all-inclusive guy, I’ve always been,” Lalonde said Wednesday.
The NHL sent a memo to teams last week clarifying what players are allowed — and not allowed — to do to celebrate special causes. One of the items included a ban on the use of “Pride tape” — rainbow-colored stick tape. The memo states that player uniforms and game gear cannot be altered to reflect theme nights, including Pride, Hockey Fights Cancer or military appreciation celebrations. Players can voluntarily participate in themed celebrations off the ice.
“That’s a league decision so it’s out of my hands and above my pay scale,” he said, “but I’m an all-inclusive guy, I’ve always been. Probably a lot of credit to my family, my upbringing.
“I fully support the league’s mandates, but I’m a person that that believes in all inclusion. I always have, and I always will.”
Lalonde emphasized, “I can’t speak for the Red Wings, I don’t want to speak for the Red Wings. I can speak for myself, and I’ve always been and always will be very proud to be an all-inclusive person.”
The NHL decided in June not to allow teams to wear any theme jerseys for warmups after select players opted out of wearing them during teams’ Pride nights last season. Those players included Wings goaltender James Reimer, who last season, as a member of the San Jose Sharks, chose not to take part in pregame warmups. He delivered his reasoning in a statement, “I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life.”
The league’s reasoning for nixing theme jerseys was that players who opted out of Pride nights distracted from the work teams were trying to do in communities.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Red Wings’ Lalonde: ‘All inclusive” as NHL bans rainbow tape
Source: Yahoo Sports