Edmonton’s Andrew Ference becomes face of LGBTQ hockey campaign

Andrew Ference is backing an initiative to promote LGBTQ inclusion and equality in sports. 

Walter Tychnowicz/Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Spor

Edmonton Oilers alternate captain Andrew Ference has long been a supporter of social change initiatives to help the environment, and he is also a big supporter of promoting equality and inclusion in the sporting world. It comes as no surprise then that Ference would become involved in a Kickstarter campaign for a product called Pride Tape, a pro quality hockey stick tape in rainbow colors which aims to show support for LGBTQ athletes. The product also pledges to donate proceeds to LGBTQ youth outreach initiatives.

Pride Tape was launched by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta in Canada in conjunction with the You Can Play Project, an organization which promotes LGBTQ inclusion in sports. You Can Play has clear ties to hockey, as the organization was created partly in memory of former Miami University men’s hockey student manager Brendan Burke, the son of Calgary Flames president Brian Burke. Brendan came out publicly as gay and worked as an advocate against homophobia in sports — especially the hockey world — before he died in a car crash at age 21 in February 2010. 

Ference has long been a supporter of the You Can Play Project and he has been promoting Pride Tape via his Twitter account in recent weeks. Ference also had the perfect response to a detractor of the Pride tape campaign via his Twitter account. 

Ference’s support will likely be invaluable to efforts to help get Pride Tape into production. The Kickstarter page said the organizations hope to produce 10,000 rolls of Pride Tape for a first distribution batch. As of Tuesday morning, donors had raised over $27,000 toward the goal of $39,386 to help get Pride Tape off the ground. 

To learn more about Pride Tape, check out its Kickstarter page here