The Montreal Canadiens keep their promise and will support the LGBTQ+ community

The Montreal Canadiens keep their promise and will support the LGBTQ+ community


Unlike the New York Rangers and Islanders, the Canadiens will hold their LGBTQ+ party as planned on Thursday, April 6, when the Washington Capitals visit, much to the relief of organizations that value sexual diversity and gender.

“It's reassuring and it's a source of pride to see that here, in Montreal, the Canadiens continue to support this initiative,” said Marie Houzeau, executive director of GRIS-Montréal, a research and social intervention group. who has been participating in this event with the Habs for a few years now.

“We have seen the impact that such a standpoint on the part of organizations like the Canadian could have a positive impact on young people and on people who are involved in environments where homophobia and transphobia are still very present, like the world of sport”, she continues.

The CH players will skate during the warm-up period with jerseys and ribbon on the sticks in the colors of the rainbow. -ciel, which will then be auctioned off for the benefit of organizations.

“The Montreal Canadiens intend to continue to demonstrate their support and respect, as a team, for their supporters, members of the organization, athletes and communities affected by discrimination and inequity, and continue their efforts to raise awareness and of support with their community partners,” confirms the Habs to the Journal.

Sad setback

The Rangers and Islanders have recently canceled their evening in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer community in sport, without giving a specific explanation.

“It created an anti-support movement and it's very surprising coming from the New York Rangers and Islanders, because they are in a state that is quite open to the LGBTQ + cause, observes Dominique Théberge, the general manager of the JAG, a organization working in Montérégie. This is a big setback for human rights.

Previously, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear a multicolored jersey. 

“I respect everyone. I respect everyone's choices. Mine is to stay true to myself and my religion,” the Orthodox Russian explained, igniting social media.

“He was not asked to do anything extreme, just to wear a sweater with colors to do good, says Mr. Théberge. You can hide behind your religion to explain gestures of hatred, but religion also preaches helping others, inclusion, love, camaraderie. »

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reacted by saying that the league continues to encourage inclusion with its Hockey is for Everyone program, but that individual choices should be “respected.”

“It's a shame, we're taking two steps forward and three steps back,” exclaims Ms. Houzeau. It's not a question of opinion, but of human rights and of giving positive role models to young people who have the right to play sport and dream at the highest levels, whether they come from any minority. .

Sought-after role model

And if an NHL hockey player said loud and clear that he supports the LGBTQ+ cause, it would make all the difference, according to Mr. Théberge.

“It would help enormously, it would bring hope,” he says. Players don't always realize it, but they are heroes for some who are in the closet and say to themselves: “I would like to be a hockey player, but I won't because I don't want to living from discrimination”. »

– With the collaboration of Jean-François Chaumont