Carolina Hurricanes Lack of Acknowledgement of Pride Month

Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes
Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Pride Month is over and the Carolina Hurricanes never made a single acknowledgement of it. 
Over June they covered a lot of topics including Free Agency, The Draft, NHL Awards, Four-Nation Cup, The Centennial Authority, Fan Surveys/Questions, Wallpapers, Fanatics uniforms, Birthdays HHOF, The schedule, Memes, Players (in general), Charities, Signings/Trades, New GM, Stormy, Father’s Day, Yard Sale, Best Friend’s Day, Grayson Murray, and Storm Report. You get my point!

That’s just over 100 tweets throughout June. Most of the subjects make sense for the off-season: a new GM right before the draft, The Draft, reminding fans of a great regular season, but the one subject missing does not. This coincides with no Pride posts all month on Instagram as well.

On June 22nd, on Raleigh Pride, there were only two tweets, both highlights from the last season. On the 10th they brought up all their specialty jerseys, including their Pride Night one, but made no mention of its relevance to June.

It would have been simple to tweet a basic “Happy Pride Month” during the Raleigh celebration downtown or quote tweet their excellent Pride Night jersey with said caption. As shown above, the team covered about 29 topics last month. There are 30 days in June. What is one more?

The Hurricanes have a shoddy record with Pride Nights and engaging the local LGBTQ+ community in general. While PNC is lit up in rainbow colors, for years barely any players have ever used Pride tape. Our last HIFE ambassador was Trevor van Riemsdyk back in 2019. (He and his brother, James, are outspoken for the community on various teams throughout their careers.)

Yes, the NHL has a big part in this, but other teams and players are stepping up where this League fails. Travis Dermott, a 2015 second-round pick like Sebastian Aho, but without as many accolades, stood up for what was right and defied the Pride tape ban. Proof that all it takes is one person, one player to effect change.

During Nashville’s Pride event, held on the same day as Raleigh's, neighboring Predators’ Captain Roman Josi (along with the team’s mascot) proudly walked in their parade handing out Predators Pride-themed merchandise.

Seattle Kraken’s color commentator J.T. Brown recently wrote an article about being an ally and how he’s trying to learn and participate more in Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community, to celebrate them. He did so by walking in the Seattle Pride parade with his family.

The LGBT Center in Raleigh is roughly 10 miles away from PNC Arena. They not only have programming for individuals and allies, but families. Equality North Carolina is the “oldest statewide organization in the country dedicated to securing rights and protections for the LGBTQ community”, founded in 1979. They are based down the road in Durham.

It is not difficult to acknowledge this Month, the Parade, and the members of the community. But it was not in the cards for the Carolina Hurricanes organization.

There is a trend: they’ve done some good work with acknowledging HBCUs during Black History Month before, with an excellent specialty jersey this year; but they also never acknowledged Juneteenth like some other teams did on the 19th. (DAL, PIT, COL)

Hockey in the South is thriving. This year, Dallas went deep and the Panthers won the Cup. Hockey belongs in the South. A South that is not the monolith nor the stereotypes people believe us to be.

People are moving to the Triangle at almost alarming rates every day. This is not the Raleigh of 1997 when the team first broke ground. It is not 2006 when we won the Cup, or even 2019 when the team came back to the playoffs. This is not the time to take one step forward and then wait a year for the next one. Every single step, big and small, counts. Every gesture and every symbol matters.

This is an ever-growing and diverse state, region, and city. We are proud of that. Why aren’t the Canes?