Hockey Diversity Alliance and Budweiser Canada Team Up To #TapeOutHate

By Steve McLean 1/27/22 |

The Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) and Budweiser Canada have partnered on the #TapeOutHate campaign in support of eradicating racism in hockey on and off the ice.

Canadians can join the movement by using the hashtag on social media posts, sharing the campaign video or purchasing a roll of #TapeOutHate hockey tape, which features words of support and solidarity from fans and players. A dollar from each roll sold at Canadian Tire stores and directly supports the HDA.

“I was ten years old when an opposing team member’s parent called me a racial slur on-ice for the first time,” HDA chair and former National Hockey League player Akim Aliu said in a media release.

“This month marks 64 years since the first Black professional hockey player – Willie O’Ree – made his NHL debut, and yet, acts of racism towards Black players remain prevalent at all levels of the sport. By showcasing a snippet of the real, lived experiences of racism the BIPOC community faces when trying to play a game that we love, we hope to inspire a groundswell of change, because racism has no place in hockey.”

The recognition of racial inequality in society led to the formation of the HDA by NHL players of colour who saw an immediate need to organize and create a platform to end racism and intolerance in hockey in 2020. The players determined they could organize and draw attention and resources to help resolve the racism and intolerance they’ve faced throughout their lives and careers.

The HDA has worked to shed light on the harsh reality of discrimination and racial inequalities that exist in hockey culture. It endeavours to improve accessibility at community levels while educating and encouraging accountability from leagues and leaders through anti-racism and unconscious bias education.

“We’re only so many within this game, so we need allies to speak up for us,” NHL player Anthony Duclair said in the release. “Whether it’s other players, brands or sport fans of any kind, we need the support of others to help make this a movement, so silence is not an option.

“If you get more diversity in hockey, it’s only going to make the game better.”

Donations to the HDA can be made here.

Scotiabank and Kraft Heinz were the HDA’s founding partners. Budweiser Canada recognized the importance of the alliance’s efforts and also became a partner.

“Budweiser has a long history of supporting hockey, and as a brand that believes this game is for us all, we recognize the obligation we have to continue to learn and evolve with the game to make it better for generations to come,” said Budweiser Canada senior marketing director Mike D’Agostini in the release.

“The goal of #TapeOutHate is to educate, raise awareness and spark meaningful conversations about intolerance in the sport, and encourage Canadians to collectively become allies in the evolution of hockey culture.”

In addition to the formal HDA sponsorship and the #TapeOutHate hockey tape for purchase, Budweiser Canada is also:

  • encouraging Canadians to support the movement by sharing the campaign video and using the #TapeOutHate hashtag on social media posts;
  • using its marketing, partnerships, social and media buying platforms to amplify the HDA’s messages and promote the #TapeOutHate campaign;
  • and leveraging Budweiser’s presence as an influential sports marketer to encourage other brands and sponsors to address and confront racism in sports.

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