DETROIT - In partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association, the Detroit Red Wings will celebrate Hockey Is For Everyone Month this week with unique opportunities to support diversity and inclusion in hockey. Programming efforts support local as well as national organizations focused on diversity and inclusion, including Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) and You Can Play.
Activities will be highlighted through Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Red Wings square off against the Washington Capitals at 2:00 p.m. (Fox Sports Detroit & 97.1 The Ticket). Originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Red Wings' Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day has been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 18.
In conjunction with Hockey Is For Everyone Month, NHL Clubs have designated one player to be a You Can Play ambassador, serving as a leader in the locker room and in the community on diversity, equality and inclusion. Center Frans Nielsen will serve in this capacity for the Red Wings.
"I'm honored to continue lending my personal support to You Can Play and the Hockey Is For Everyone initiative," said Nielsen, a 2017 NHL All-Star. "Hockey is an international sport that is truly for everyone. We're banding together to create an atmosphere of inclusion on the ice, in the dressing room and in the stands throughout the NHL."
Red Wings Hockey Is For Everyone Month activities include:
TUESDAY, FEB. 14 - WARRIOR HOCKEY EQUIPMENT DONATION TO MICHIGAN FAR FLYERS
The Red Wings launched a myriad of Hockey Is For Everyone Month activities by surprising the Michigan FAR Flyers, a special hockey team based in Birmingham, Mich., with more than $12,000 in brand new hockey equipment donated by Warrior Hockey. Members of Michigan FAR Flyers were invited to enjoy a Red Wings practice at The Joe on Tuesday, Feb. 14 before receiving the equipment. Michigan FAR Flyers special hockey is dedicated to the development and enjoyment of hockey for developmentally or physically challenged athletes.
SATURDAY, FEB. 18 - HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE AWARENESS DAY AT THE JOE
Honorary Puck Drop Captains: Select youth and adult hockey players representing a variety of areas and communities, including ethnicity and gender equality, socio-economic status, LGBTQ and those with disabilities, will serve as Honorary Puck Drop Captains prior to the Red Wings game against the Washington Capitals.
Hockey Is For Everyone PSA: In celebration of Hockey Is For Everyone Month, the Detroit Red Wings will debut a new PSA during the game highlighting the team's cultural diversity. Select players will speak both in English and in their native languages during the PSA.
Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) Concourse Activation: Representatives from RISE will be available on the concourse (Section 112) to provide fans with more information on how the organization supports diversity and inclusion throughout Metro Detroit.
Red Wings Pride Tape Equipment Online Auction: Select Red Wings players will use hockey sticks wrapped with Pride Tape during pregame warm-ups. The autographed sticks will then be auctioned at www.DetroitRedWings.com/Auction, with proceeds benefiting You Can Play. The online auction will run through Tuesday, Feb. 28.
You Can Play Lapel Pins: Select coaches and staff will wear official You Can Play lapel pins to support inclusion in hockey.
"Share Your Story" Social Media Campaign: Fans are encouraged to join the conversation in support of Hockey Is For Everyone by sharing their stories of how hockey has made a positive impact via Facebook (facebook.com/detroitredwings), Instagram (@DetroitRedWings and @DRWCommunity) or Twitter (@DetroitRedWings) using the official hashtag #HockeyIsForEveryone. Additionally, fans can share their story on Snapchat (@OfficialDRW) with the special Hockey Is For Everyone filter. Red Wings fans not in attendance for Hockey is for Everyone Awareness Day can learn more about the cause at www.NHL.com/HockeyIsForEveryone.
TUESDAY, FEB. 21 - VIP TEAM PRACTICE EXPERIENCE
Following Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day, the Red Wings will host more than 50 youth and adult hockey players representing a variety of areas and communities, including ethnicity and gender equality, socio-economic status, LGBTQ and those with disabilities, for a VIP experience at Joe Louis Arena during the team's morning practice session at 10:30 a.m.
YEAR-ROUND PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ROSS INITIATIVE IN SPORTS FOR EQUALITY (RISE)
The Detroit Red Wings support of diversity and inclusion spans yearlong through a season-long partnership with RISE. In conjunction with the Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program, teachers at each of the 115 elementary schools visited receives a RISE Teacher Kit to help nearly 50,000 students explore the different cultural aspects of each country from which Red Wings players hail.