The Colorado Avalanche miss the mark ahead of their Pride Night.
The Colorado Avalanche’s Pride Night will take place on Wednesday when the team takes on the Anaheim Ducks. Unlike last year the team are at least promoting the event this time around. Unfortunately their promotion so far has done little to actually feature or even really talk about the LGBTQ+ community. Instead they seem to be focusing all their attention on allies.
I’m not denying that allies are important. We need them to help make a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ fans and players. But when the above is tweeted with nothing that invites video messages from the people Pride Night is supposed to support that sends a very clear message.
When pressed, the social media team did respond to some comments saying that fans were welcome to send whatever message felt important to them, but if you download the app the instructions you are given do not mention the LGBTQ+ community at all. Fans are invited to say ‘I am an ally’, ‘hockey is for everyone’ or ‘everyone is welcome at Pepsi Center’. All very bland and generic and not at all inclusive.
To make matters worse the team is initially marketed the event by selling an Ally Package, which felt like a very deliberate attempt to avoid mentioning Pride or the LGBTQ+ community.
From the Avalanche ticket website:
With each Ally Package purchased through this link you will receive: Discounted Game Ticket
Exclusive Avalanche Pride Night Hat
Access to take a slap shot on the ice after the game
This has since been updated so that it is now being sold as a Pride Package, but with no apology or acknowledgement that this was not the right direction to go in. It would be nice to know that the team is actually listening to their LGBTQ+ fans but this doesn’t appear to be the case.
The whole thing is just incredibly tone deaf and at best is ignorant about the number of LGBTQ+ fans the team has. At worst this is a deliberate attempt to ignore the marginalized group that Pride Night is supposed to be supporting in favor of focusing on the heterosexual cisgendered allies who, if they were true allies, would not want this night to be about them.
As a stark contract the Carolina Hurricanes did exactly what should be done ahead of their Pride Night game. They engaged with fans in an inclusive and welcoming way, and used their social media platform to shut down any homophobic responses. If the Avalanche did even a fraction of what the Hurricanes have done we’d be well on the way to a fantastic Pride Night.
Luckily, so far, the response from LGBTQ+ fans and actual allies towards the Avalanche has been loud, and the social media team at least seems to be aware of the misstep they have taken. There’s still time for them to turn this around and make Pride Night actually about the LGBTQ+ community. Whether they actually do or not remains to be seen.
The Colorado Avalanche Pride Night game takes place on Wednesday 4th March at 7:30pm MT