Statement On the NHL Draft Being Awarded to Dallas
We would encourage our partners at the NHL to carefully consider the message sent to fans – all fans – by holding the 2018 NHL Draft celebration in a state that has chosen to write discrimination into law. Hosting events like the draft is a privilege. We believe events like this should be held in states, cities and venues where all fans, athletes and their families feel welcome.
Awarding events like a draft, all-star game or major championship game, by any league or sports organization, is a business reward and a substantial partnership. This time, the draft sends a message that the partnership being built with Texas, and the business of sport, is more important than the individual dignity of fans and athletes.
Finally, it’s disappointing that an event meant to celebrate the start of young careers will be mentioned in the same conversation as the damning statistics about the effect of discrimination and bullying on the youth of Texas. Should Dallas host the draft, we look forward to working with the NHL to lift up all athletes, coaches and fans – not just the ones some Texas politicians think matter.
We truly believe that Hockey is for Everyone and the NHL has a unique opportunity to build on its leadership in supporting LGBTQ athletes and fans.