Given all the work that Penguins President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke has done over the years to help honor his late son, it shouldn’t be a surprise the Pens will participate in the NHL’s first Pride Game. From the team:
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community as they co-host the NHL’s first-ever joint Pride Game on Saturday, April 17 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The game will be nationally televised on NBC at 3:00 PM.
The Penguins and Sabres’ Pride Game aims to bring together two cities to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities by sharing stories of inclusion, hope and allyship.
“The Penguins are thrilled to partner with the Buffalo Sabres to celebrate Pride this season,” said Amanda Susko, senior director of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. “With a condensed schedule and limited capacities, we identified an opportunity to unite our teams to spotlight this event and the LGBTQ+ community through the national TV broadcast. As teamwork is at the heart of hockey, we have collaborated with the Sabres on every step and are proud to host this first in the NHL together.”
Players from both teams will tape their sticks for pre-game warmups with rainbow tape and take the ice wearing commemorative pride warm-up jerseys featuring the Progress Pride Flag. Pucks used in pre-game warm-ups will also have a distinct colorful design.
The Penguins and Sabres will co-host a seven-day online auction featuring pride tape sticks, commemorative warm-up jerseys and pucks, various signed items from both teams and more. The auction kicks off pre-game on April 17 and runs through April 24 at 12:00 PM (noon).
Pittsburgh’s fundraising will benefit the You Can Play Project and the Pittsburgh Tigers. Penguins President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke and his son, Patrick, helped launch the You Can Play Project in 2012, with the goal of ensuring the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans. It was founded in honor of the late Brendan Burke, Brian’s son and Patrick’s brother.
The Pittsburgh Tigers organization was formed by Mike Marsico and Adam Knoerzer in 2011 as an LGBTQ+-friendly team. They are based out of the Pittsburgh Ice Arena in New Kensington and have represented Pittsburgh in tournaments across North America.