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Rangers Say You Can Play, Too

Pride Night at Madison Square Garden in faceoff versus Hurricanes

The New York Rangers’ hockey sticks were wrapped in rainbow tape for last year’s Pride Night.
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The New York Rangers are hosting their annual LGBTQ Pride Night in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, January 15 at 7 p.m.

According to the team’s website, the purpose of the evening is to “spread the message of acceptance and respect within the hockey community.”

The Rangers are teamed up for the evening with the You Can Play Project, a non-profit group dedicated to the safety and inclusion of all participants in the world of sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans. The group’s overall mission is to create a culture change so that locker rooms and spectator areas focus on athletic ability, work ethic, and team spirit — not on sexual orientation or gender identity.

You Can Play’s website explains, “Athletes are allowed to be all the things our parents taught us to be growing up. Honest. Dedicated to achieving goals. Hard working and full of competitive spirit. It’s tough to be those things when a player is keeping a secret. Teams get better results, and athletes are better, when they can be honest and open about who they are. That includes athletes who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. It’s time to talk about sports and it’s time for us to create change. It’s one of the last bastions of society where discrimination and slurs are tolerated. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s an assumption in sports that gay and lesbian players are shunned by all athletes. It’s just not true and You Can Play is dedicated to providing positive messages from athletes, coaches, and fans.”

According to OutSports.com, as of last year, all 31 teams in the National Hockey League hosted a similar Pride Night in their home stadiums.

Both the Rangers and the Hurricanes play in the Metropolitan Division, which has eight teams. New York is currently in fifth place with a 17 and 14 record, while Carolina is in seventh place, with 16 wins and 17 losses.

For more information on Pride Night at Madison Square Garden and to buy tickets, visit nhl.com/rangers/tickets/theme-nights. To learn more about the You Can Play Project, visit youcanplayproject.org.

Updated 11:14 am, January 15, 2019
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