The New York Islanders are hosting Pride Night on Saturday, Feb. 3, against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Barclays Center. Islanders Pride Night benefits and is supported by You Can Play and the LGBT Network. More information on these two organizations is at the bottom of this post.
As part of highlighting initiatives to foster diversity and inclusion, Islanders Pride Night will include specific in-game entertainment, giveaways, and food and beverage offerings for the occasion.
The ceremonial opening puck drop will be by Sandra Velasquez, a You Can Play ambassador and founder of Hockey Fights Hate, which organizes recreational hockey scrimmages across the country to raise funds for civil rights and similar advocacy groups.
In warmups, Islanders players will use rainbow stick tape. An auction for a game-used stick will take place on the concourse with proceeds going to LGBTQ charities.
A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit these charities, and fans purchasing tickets through this link will receive an Islanders pride scarf. The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive Upper Deck trading cards with a special pride night card.
Social media hashtags for the night include #IslesPrideNight, #HockeyIsForEveryone, and #YouCanPlay.
About You Can Play:
You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on an athlete’s skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity
You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.
You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.
About LGBT Network:
The LGBT Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves as a home and a voice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of all ages, their families, and support systems.
The LGBT Network’s four LGBT community centers, located across Long Island and Queens, help LGBT people to be themselves, connect with others, stay healthy, and be empowered to change the world.
The LGBT Network’s four community centers are located in: Nassau, The Center at Woodbury; in Suffolk, The Center at Bay Shore; Hamptons LGBT Center in Sag Harbor, and the Queens LGBT Center (Q-Center) in Long Island City. The LGBT Network’s anti-bullying program works with over 150 Long Island and NYC schools and reaches over 100,000 annually.