Opinion: Dallas Stars’ Ice-Cold Attitude Towards Pride Month

Photo via Dallas Stars

Saturday, June 1, was the start of Pride Month. Pride Month is dedicated to celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, Pride Month began after the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a series of events between police officers and LGBTQ+ protestors, in New York City after the NYC police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Pride Month is a sensitive subject for some people, including the NHL and NHL fans in general. Last October, the league banned rainbow-colored Pride Tape, which quickly sparked a backlash as critics said the league’s controversial decision was a step backward in their pledge to make hockey a welcoming and inclusive sport for all. Some NHL players reportedly agreed with the league’s decision, while some didn’t.

Last September, I wrote an op-ed, Dallas Stars Theme Night Thoughts, for Inside The Rink — and I still stand by my opinion about the Dallas Stars’ most recent Pride Night, presented by PNC Bank, versus the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday, March 20. I believe in the NHL’s “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiative because everyone can play and/or enjoy hockey, whether they’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or not.

I’m aware that my personal beliefs won’t resonate with some people, including the Dallas Stars fanbase, but that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me because life would be boring if we all had the same opinions. But it’s important to diversify the hockey fanbase, make the sport of hockey a global game, and support nonprofit youth hockey organizations in North America. The children of today will make the United States of tomorrow, and we can help them understand the importance of making the world a better place by becoming open-minded while understanding others’ differences.

Texas is, politically, mostly a red state, and Texas sports fans average two hours and 35 minutes of irritableness after an unfavorable sports outcome. Political advertisements during sporting events might contribute to the fans’ anger and disappointment.

Either way, Dallas Stars fans are “ice cold,” according to a new study that analyzed current sportsmanship behaviors of American and Canadian NHL fans, examining factors such as booing frequency, injury cheering, and lack of empathy. The Stars rank 11th in “ice cold” fans out of 32, with a score of 50.1 out of 100, and rank #3 within the Central Division. Specifically, 48.5% of Stars fans enjoy booing the opposing team and their fans regularly, 60.6% don’t empathize with the rival team’s loss, and 42.4% don’t regret their past poor behaviors.

I’m not saying all Stars fans are ice-cold. However, from my personal experiences, some of them are unpleasant, and would probably disagree with me for that matter.

Contrary to popular belief, Dallas has had a robust LGBTQ+ culture since the 1970s, when there were gay bars that were basically hidden in plain sight. Fast forward to today, where Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood is one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the United States, thanks to its exciting dining, shopping, arts and culture, and nightlife scene. There are around 211,000 LGBTQ+ individuals in the Greater Dallas metro area, the sixth-largest in the US.

Whether you’re a Stars fan or not, I support you if you’re an LGBTQ+ individual because you can express yourself and stand up for what you believe in. And, if you don’t identify with the LGBTQ+ community, I hope you can find it in your heart to become an LGBTQ+ ally because now’s the time to take action and stop the ignorance that adversely impacts the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ individuals across the country.

Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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