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Lakers to celebrate Pride night

By Randy Thoms Jun 29, 2023 | 6:35 AM

Borderland Pride and the Fort Frances Lakers are joining forces to show their support for the local 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

The Fort Frances Lakers will host a Pride night as part of their 2023-24 season.

It was Borderland Pride that approached the Lakers with the idea.

Co-chair Doug Judson says the NHL’s ban on Pride-themed warmup jerseys was the catalyst.

“So, we thought it was important to demonstrate that there were local organizations in that sport that were on the right side of history on these issues. There was absolutely no opposition to doing this. They’re very excited, I think, for any opportunity to engage positively and impactfully with the community,” says Judson.

“We are looking forward to hosting this event this coming season,” says Lakers’ Head Coach Tyler Miller. “Under our new leadership, we want to promote a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all Lakers fans and players. Our organization is also committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the wider community.”

“Hockey needs to be for everyone,” adds Lakers’ General Manager, Luke Judson. “We are a community-owned, managed, and supported organization, and supporting the aims of Pride is another way we can give back to the community in a meaningful and impactful way.”

The date for Pride night and other details around what that will entail still have to be worked out.

Similar events in other leagues have featured queer, trans, Pride, and gender-diverse persons and symbols – including rainbow tape or Pride-themed warmup jerseys or special guests.

The event is believed to be the first of its kind in the SIJHL.

Judson hopes other teams will consider hosting their own Pride nights.

“We think that it’s a good opportunity to extend goodwill for the hockey organization. It’s a good opportunity to build a profile for the local pride organization, and it’s another way to fill the stands and bring people together around a greater cause than just the game that’s on the ice.”



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