By Dan O’Leary
In the spirit of Hockey is for Everyone, San Jose Sharks forward Kurtis Gabriel has some new skates.
The team shared a photo of the the 27-year-old forward showing off his new skates on Sunday.
Gabriel, who famously scored a game-winning goal for the New Jersey Devils after deciding to keep Pride Tape on his stick for the actual game during the team’s Hockey is for Everyone Night back in Feb. 2019, has adorned each skate with messages of equality. The boots were designed by Guby Customs.
“(Gabriel) was very involved in the design,” said Peter Gubernator, the Montreal-based artist and proprietor of Guby Customs. “Working with Kurtis was just easy. I do all sorts of equipment, I’ve done a tennis racket, guitars, but skates are what i really enjoy working on because I love hockey. I love playing it and I love watching it.”
Gabriel also shared a video showing the various features of each skate. One has a rainbow flag and rainbow heel with the phrase “love is love” across the back. The other features the Black Lives Matter logo and the words “hope,” “empathy” and “change” written on the back. He also posted a lengthy written statement.
Gabriel was also seen wearing a Pride facemask in a video the Sharks shared during training camp.
“Kurtis saw my work on Instagram and contacted me with this idea and I was all for it,” said Gubernator, who said he worked on two pairs of skates for Gabriel. “It’s an important message.”