The Coyotes are the latest professional sports team and the first NHL team to officially endorse ONE Community's UNITY Pledge, an oath signifying support of full inclusion and equality in employment, housing, and public accommodations for all Arizonans, including the gay and transgender.
Coyotes President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez signed the pledge Thursday at Gila River Arena.
"Equality, diversity, and inclusion are core values of our organization and it's our responsibility to support all members of our community," Gutierrez said. "We are proud to sign the UNITY Pledge to ensure that our employees and fans are protected from any form of discrimination. As an organization, we are committed to using our voice and our platform to raise awareness and take actionable steps to ensure a more equitable society."
More than 20,000 individuals and 3,300 businesses have signed the pledge, including four other major professional sports teams in the Valley -- the Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury.
"We are grateful to the Arizona Coyotes organization and leadership for their commitment to equality for all Arizonans," said Angele Hughey, President and Co-Founder of ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation. "Their dedication to creating an inclusive and welcoming community for their players, fans and staff is the embodiment of what the UNITY Pledge represents and our goal for an Arizona that is open for business to everyone."
Lyndsey Fry, President of the Arizona Kachinas and member of the LGBTQ community, was on hand for the signing. Fry also is the Chair of the Coyotes' recently established Diversion and Inclusion Committee.
"I am incredibly proud of our organization for taking part in and supporting the UNITY Pledge," Fry said. "Everyone should be treated as equals and we are deeply committed to advocating for the inclusion and safety of all Arizonans."
The Coyotes also are part of the NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" year-round initiative, which embraces the LGBTQ community with "Pride Night" and "Pride Month."
Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the Coyotes' designated "Hockey Is for Everyone" player ambassador. As such, Ekman-Larsson serves as a leader in the locker room and the community and as a public advocate to speak up, speak out, and inspire others.
Lead Photo Credit: ONE Community // Footer Photo Credit: ONE Community