Yesterday afternoon the Coyotes released a statement, and it was an important one.
#PhoenixRally pic.twitter.com/VAECoeO3i7— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) August 22, 2017
If you cannot see the embed, it says: “The Arizona Coyotes are proud to support the ideals of inclusivity and acceptance. We are committed to the belief that hockey can drive positive social change and foster most inclusive communities. We believe #HockeyIsForEveryone and are glad that the Coyotes can bring people together. All are welcome in our den! #OnePack”
The team taking a stand against hate is important. Why?
Following the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump held a rally in downtown Phoenix last night, the content or purpose of which wasn't known ahead of time. Perhaps in anticipation of his usual diatribe of the media and recent vacillating on the protests in Charlottesville, the team released the above statement.
The public, too, responded with mass demonstrations in defiance of the President's recent remarks. These anticipatory moves were fitting, as the President continued his usual tirade, hinting that he may pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was charged with criminal contempt in refusing to follow a judge's orders to desist from targeting immigrants in traffic patrols.
The team released this statement before the rally even started, showing that even though they did not name any specific reason as to why they commented, it was obvious it was about the President and the #PhoenixRally.
The reactions to the tweet speak for themselves, from the many thank you’s from fans all over.
good on you #Inclusivity— nahtanoj truoc (@gollybass) August 22, 2017
Glad you are publicly and unequivocally stating this. Proud of my team.— DM Timmy Hate (@TimmyHate) August 22, 2017
Thank you.— Sports Gene Babble (@HockeyBabbler) August 22, 2017
thank you, love you, crying about how great this organization is AGAIN ♥♥♥— #BlackLivesMatter (@Janeelessthan3) August 23, 2017
thank you— LJ (@splendourella) August 22, 2017
They also had fans who voiced their opinions on sticking to sports and how they lost respect for the team for making a statement.
Why does this even need to be said? I just lost a lot of respect for this organization.— updogg (@Updogg13) August 23, 2017
No not you guys too— dat boi (@herecomedatboii) August 22, 2017
Not sure why it was necessary for a hockey team to make a statement. Save the grandstanding & virtue signaling for the politicians please.— Louis Dasch (@LouisDasch) August 22, 2017
Here at Five For Howling, we have been very vocal that Hockey Is For Everyone and that sports, politics, and business are all linked together.
When an organization speaks out about things that are going on in the world (see the Dallas Stars and the NHL about the now dead Texas Bathroom bill), people start to take notice. The NBA pulled their All-Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina because of a similar bill, and will be going back now that the state has changed the law.
Right now, in this climate, sometimes a team is all we have to hold onto. A team telling people that they are welcome and wanted means more than an artificial Hockey Is For Everyone night.
I have been saying this a lot recently but, one cannot simply stick to sports. The Coyotes are making their stand, and I for one, am glad to be someone who covers this team because of it.