Hockey players are known for going black and blue—but today they're going purple for Spirit Day. While the NHL has already gone lavender for their annual Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, the major sports league has also turned positively purple on Facebook and Twitter to show their support for bullied and LGBT youth.
Working with the You Can Play Project, a group that works with athletes to make sports safe and accessible for LGBT fans and athletes, hockey teams across North America are going purple for Spirit Day, from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Anaheim Ducks. NHL's Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild have gone purple, too, and at their upcoming game against Minnesota, the Panthers are hosting an inaugural Equality Night this Saturday, October 19th to battle homophobia in the locker room.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 17, 2013
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 17, 2013
Individual players have spoken up against bullying in sports as part of the You Can Play Project, and NHL has been diligently spotlighting their support of LGBT athletes via Twitter. Hockey stars including the San Jose Sharks' Tommy Wingels; the Washington Capitals' Matt Hendricks; and the LA Kings' Alec Martinez and Dustin Brown have all made short videos calling for respect for all players, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Today, the New York Islanders posted a short video in support of Spirit Day before hitting the ice against the Edmonton Oilers.
"By going purple for Spirit Day, the National Hockey League continues to show its dedication to opening up the game for all fans and players, and taking a stand against bullying from the locker room to the stands," said GLAAD's Wilson Cruz. "We're hopeful that hockey fans and young athletes who see this message will feel empowered to participate in their own way by passing along the league's message in support for LGBT youth."
In addition to the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer (MLS), National Basketball Association (NBA) & Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) are all going purple to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
Are you wearing your Spirit Day purple?
Going purple is easy:
- Wear something purple today - whether it's a purple scarf, purple tie, or an entirely purple outfit, you'll be taking a stand against bullying!
- Head over to www.glaad.org/spiritday to turn your Facebook and Twitter profile pics purple right now to show LGBT youth you support them.
- Share your photos with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+ with the hashtag #SpiritDay - some may even be featured on the Spirit Day website.
With your help, young people everywhere will be able to walk into school or turn on TV and see a sea of purple. They'll see that the world has their back, and that it's okay to be who you are.