BRIGHTON, MA — Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand took a guarded approach when discussing the NHL’s latest example that they’re maybe not as inclusive as they claim to be.
When asked about the NHL’s recent ban on players wearing rainbow tape in warmups to support the LGBTQ community, Brad Marchand surprisingly took the high road and would not directly agree or disagree with the latest controversial move by the league as they continue to veer away from the inclusivity they preach.
“My beliefs are that you should treat everyone with respect,” the 35-year-old Bruins captain replied when asked about the tape ban. “Treat people how you want to be treated. You support who and what you want to support. Also, I don’t think we need to be used to push political agendas as well. If there’s something you feel like supporting, then you support it.”
If there’s one thing the new Boston Bruins captain has never been, it’s being guarded with his words. Marchand has made a name for himself with his savage chirps on the ice and shooting from the hip off it with the media. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney did send a bit of a warning to the media to be prepared for a tempered Marchand when the team announced the superstar winger as the 27th captain in team history last month.
“Now again, that needs to be tempered in every way, shape, or form both publicly and how he comments on things because he can shoot from the hip every once in a while,” Sweeney said. “Now he’s got to be a little more reserved in that approach, but not to take away from who he is as a hockey player. As I said, how he grows and continues to evolve as a leader and a captain.”
Marchand did at least give his opinion on why the league has gotten to the point where NHL players can’t actually express their support for an important cause, like supporting the LGBTQ community and making everyone feel welcome in the NHL and the game of hockey.
“I think a lot of it came from the backlash the players got in previous years, and it’s just unfortunate when you stand up for what’s right and you get a lot of backlash. Right now, one way or the other, it just seems like you can’t win,” he explained.
“I truly believe in my heart that if there’s something you support and you support it, then it’s OK to have your own beliefs and feeling your own way about things, but to be pushed to do something you don’t want to do or to be banned from something … you do believe in … there’s got to be a line where we can all have our beliefs and support each other and everything be OK and not have tension between each side. So, it’s just unfortunate we can’t find common ground right now. It’s unfortunate that we can’t get along on some of these topics.”
Marchand said he would obey the ban and not use rainbow tape.
Another Boston Bruins player who has been an even bigger advocate for Pride Nights and active in the LGBTQ community is defenseman and alternate captain Charlie McAvoy. Unfortunately, McAvoy appeared caught off guard and not really up-to-date on what happened regarding the Pride tape ban and asked if he could comment after further research.