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Florida Panthers First Equality Night Partners With You Can Play Project

Portion of Ticket Proceeds Benefitted the Pride Center as the Panthers hosted their first-ever equality night.

Monday, 10.21.2013 / 4:52 PM / News
Florida Panthers

Saturday night was the Florida Panther’s first ever Equality Night. The Cats became the first team in the league to partner with the You Can Play Project in putting together this type of night. The project aims to battle homophobia both inside and outside of the locker room.

The event aimed to promote equality in sports with proceeds of Equality Night ticket packages benefiting The Pride Center in Wilton Manors, FL. Co-founder of the You Can Play project, Glenn Witman spoke before the game in the Sawgrass room at the BB&T Center and also dropped the ceremonial puck before the Florida Panthers faced off against the Minnesota Wild for a 2-1 shootout victory.

Spearheaded from within the organization by Group Sales Account Executive Brandon Loker, Equality Night received attention from across social networks, sports media and local media.

“There were people at the event who would never have come to the game without the Equality Night,” said Loker.

During the game, a promotional spot featuring the Florida Panthers’ Brian Campbell and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos was highlighted on the new scoreboard.

When asked why he got involved with the project, Campbell described it as a no-brainer.

“It doesn’t matter your beliefs or what you are…if you are good enough to play, you can play,” said Campbell.

One fan tweeted that it might be the first, but it won't be the last.

Occurring on the Saturday following the NHL, MLB, NFL and other North American Sports teams celebration of Spirit Day on Thursday, Oct. 17, the anti bullying message and equality was carried throughout the week.

“It’s all just a mindset, and breaking down those stereotypes is essential,” said Loker.

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

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2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 76 16 22 -14 38
S. Upshall 76 15 22 1 37
B. Campbell 82 7 30 -6 37
B. Boyes 78 21 15 -6 36
S. Bergenheim 62 16 13 -16 29
J. Huberdeau 69 9 19 -5 28
T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 23 7 .919 2.40
S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
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