Arizona Coyotes defenseman Travis Dermott became the first player to defy the NHL's memo banning Pride Tape when he used it on the shaft of his stick in the team's 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. However, he won't have to go against the rules anymore as the league reversed course on Tuesday.
"After consultation with the NHL Players' Association and the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition, Players will now have the option to voluntarily represent social causes with their stick tape throughout the season," read a statement by the NHL.
Although now it will be allowed, Dermott had previously explained his decision and why going against the league's policy was so important to him.
Over the summer, theto all 32 teams about how to handle specialty nights. Amongst the new policies were a ban on special warmup jerseys and the use of Pride Tape -- rainbow-colored tape often used to express support for the LGBTQ community on Pride Nights.
Despite that, Dermott took it upon himself to decorate the top of his stick with Pride Tape on Saturday. In an interview with The Athletic, Dermott said he was going to ask for forgiveness instead of seeking permission.
"None of the players really saw me put it on my stick," Dermott said. "It was kind of just an, 'All right, I'm doing this, and we're going to deal with the consequences and move forward, and hopefully I'll have a positive impact on some people that needed that positive impact.'"
Dermott had decided he was not going to continue his form of protest on the ice because he didn't want anyone from the Coyotes organization to be in a tough spot because of his actions. However, he still intended in being vocal about the causes he supports and use social media to spread his message.
Now, Dermott -- who has been a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community throughout his career -- is celebrating the freedom the NHL is awarding players on the ice.
"It's amazing," Dermott said, as reported by The Athletic. "You really become proud for who you're working for when people are able to second-guess their choices and just kind of take a step back and see who they're affecting and how they're affecting (them). To be able to have them really take a step in the right direction here in my eyes is unbelievable. It really makes me proud of the spot that I'm working in.
"Hopefully going forward, not just myself and the team but the whole league gets kind of a better game plan going forward with this. We're not singling guys out for their religious beliefs and all that stuff. But if guys want to go out of their way to support a cause that is impactful to a lot of people, then why not give us that voice? I really respect and honor the word that the league has put in for this."