Icing Out Pride

The Stranger

Gale and Thompson were right to expect an infrastructural and monetary windfall from the local arrival of an NHL franchise: The Seattle Kraken and Symetra (an insurance company and Kraken corporate sponsor) both provide financial support to the SPHA and its tournament. The Kraken’s annual Pride Night… is core to those efforts. Player-worn Pride-themed jerseys will be auctioned off at the event, with proceeds going to the [Seattle Pride Hockey Association] as well as to the One Roof Foundation, which is the Kraken’s philanthropic arm.

But while the SPHA proudly traces its origins to a platonic tape-inspired meet-cute, and while Gale describes the Kraken as setting the “gold standard” in financial and institutional support for LGBTQ+ hockey communities—albeit through a classically byzantine patchwork of for-profit and nonprofit work, auctions, corporate sponsors, and the like—the NHL as a governing body cannot rest on inclusive laurels in the same way. If anything, the NHL is brooding in the homophobia penalty box.