It’s official: The NHL has a Pride problem.
Last night the Wild held an LGBTQ Pride Night promotion, which was supposed to include rainbow-themed pregame jerseys that would later be auctioned off for charity. But shortly before the team hit the ice for warm-ups, it was reported that the pregame jerseys would not be worn after all, and the web page where the jerseys were up for auction was quietly scrubbed from the team’s website.
Beat writer Michael Russo said that the switcheroo was an “organizational decision,” which is frustratingly vague, although it seems reasonable to assume that the “organization” that planned the jerseys wouldn’t have scrapped them unless there were some objections from the players.
This is at least the third time in the past two months that an NHL team has backpedaled on pregame Pride jerseys. On Jan. 17, Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear the team’s Pride jersey. Ten days later, the Rangers, who had announced that they’d be wearing pregame Pride jerseys, decided not to wear them after all. (There was also some media coverage of the Islanders not wearing rainbow jerseys for their recent Pride Night promotion, but they never planned to do so in the first place, so that’s not really an analogous situation.)
Recent resistance to Pride uniforms is not limited to the NHL. Last June, five Tampa Bay Rays players opted out of the team’s on-field Pride uni, citing religious concerns. The following month, Jaelene Daniels of the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage sat out a game rather than wear the team’s Pride jersey, also for religious reasons.
These developments have taken place against the backdrop of a larger cultural and legislative battle, as many U.S. states have moved to restrict trans-related health care in recent months.
Despite 86ing the jerseys, the Wild did go ahead with some other aspects of their Pride Night promotion. For example, players used rainbow stick tape during pregame activities:
News reports indicate that the Wild also used rainbow-themed pucks during warm-ups, although I was unable to find a photo of that.
Although the players did not wear the pregame jersey, at least one person did: Jack Jablonski, a former Minnesota high school hockey player who has been paralyzed since 2011 and came out as gay last year. He led the Wild’s traditional “Let’s play hockey!” chant prior to the start of the game:
Jack Jablonski, wearing the 2023 #mnwild Pride jersey with “Jabs” patch, doing Let’s Play Hockey. Here’s my story on Jabs coming out in September >>https://t.co/JKeIACpzvo pic.twitter.com/ANrVsMbsVw
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 8, 2023
The Wild were not the only NHL team scheduled to wear pregame advocacy jerseys last night. In Seattle, it was Women in Hockey Night, with these warm-up jerseys:
And in New Jersey, the Devils had Gender Equality Night, with with these pregame jerseys:
To my knowledge, no Seattle or New Jersey players refused to wear the jerseys.
Cowards. I have plenty of issues with Rainbow Capitalism, but caving to the bigots who hide behind hateful misreadings of their religions is disgraceful. The Wild should do better in the future.
pretty quick to judge ppl as bigots or hateful there…
Maybe you should do better in the future
We don’t yet know exactly why the Wild scrapped the jerseys — nobody has cited religion. Let’s please refrain from mind-reading or inflammatory language. Thanks.
“The Wild abandoned their plans to don Pride jerseys out of concern for Russian players. Star forward Kirill Kaprizov, notably, had a difficult journey back to the United States after returning to Russia this past offseason.”
This may be unpopular, and I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I think that it’s not a good idea to accept these players’ explanation when objectively reporting on their choices. (Sorry for the awkward sentence; I can’t figure out how to say it better.)
What I’m getting at is that I think the sentence should read “…also for ‘religious’ reasons.” or “…also for ‘religious reasons.'”
My point is that it’s a political choice. The fact that some grifters give this political choice a religious cover does not mean the rest of us have to validate that.
Again, I’m genuinely not trying be argumentative, just my honest feelings. And I could be persuaded otherwise if I heard a good case.
As always, let’s not engage in mind-reading. Thanks.
If they want to avoid these issues fine – don’t do any promotions like this at all. Do the charity work through team foundations etc, raise money in the background, but skip the team-related schtick and (often) merch sale that goes with it.
When’s the first player going to refuse to wear any of the tacky and gross “Military Appreciation” nonsense? Our pro sports leagues are made up of players from all over the world, including non-US citizens, and we haven’t really had a justifiable military engagement in like 80 years, but nobody has a problem with those promotional games. Meanwhile there are people in our government right now actively trying to take rights away from the LGBTQ+ community and women, but “eww no rainbow shirts”. Sad behavior from these players.
Very, very well put, Derek. Agreed on all points.
we all saw saw how it worked out when Kaepernick’s actions were misconstrued as him not participating in military appreciation. so yeah, heaven help the person who actually intends that statement.
I 100% agree on the “military appreciation” gear and merch. Just as I 100% support players’ refusing to go along with “pride,” “women in hockey,” “think of the children,” or any other cause that a fellow can have principled objections to (needless to say, perhaps, you don’t have to LIKE the principles). This sort of thing was always going to run into such problems.
No one would criticize an atheist for declining to wear a Christianity Pride Night jersey or a Muslim on Judaism Pride Night or a recovering addict on Marijuana Legalization Night etc. etc. etc. So why don’t we stop all this pandering, virtue-signaling crap and just play?
This includes these stupid veterans’ ceremonies, which I as a veteran find phony and condescending, and I decline to stand and be recognized when they ask. Very very very few of us were “heroes,” and it’s insulting to real heroes to imply that we all are.
Agree, corporate activism, whether it’s meant to appeal to Woke Gen Zers or Conservative Boomers needs to die. The military stuff is an offensive waste of money, the rest of it is phoney too.
After I spend some time in the UK and got deeply into British sporting culture I also realized how uniquely dumb it is that we play our national anthem before every game. No other country does that (outside of Canada when they share a league with us). Outside of a national team game it’s dumb.
Just stop all of it, the Pride shirts, the “Black National Anthem,” the Star Spangled Banner, the flyovers. Just knock it off and play sports. I actually agree with Laura Ingraham when she says “shut up and dribble,” but unlike her I apply it to all athletes and all of these pandering situations. Just shut up and play sports.
What is the problem here? This is still the United States of America where we have freedom of choice. Teams are still compromised of individuals who should not be forced or shamed into supporting any cause or special interest group for whatever the reason. Please remove the politics and virtue signaling from sports, it’s driving many of us away.
Yet we expect players from other countries to stand in admiration and respect for our national anthem. Funny, huh?
Personally, I do think that it is pandering, and to see it blow up in the faces of team management is well deserved in most cases. They only do it in an attempt to develop goodwill, because they believe that it will increase the bottom line. Instead, how about the team put their money where their mouth is, do something that will actually matter, and do it quietly? When Dan Snyder does something for Women’s History Month…. that would be the very definition of pandering.
Except for the handful of teams based in Canada – more than a handful with the NHL – we are in the United States. I don’t necessarily expect foreign national players to pledge their allegiance but show respect for the country where they are making their incomes? I don’t think that is asking too much. At every Formula 1 race, the drivers, most, if not all, are not from the country hosting the race that week, assemble before the race for the playing of the host’s national anthem and they stand respectfully. I don’t think that is unreasonable.
Except why is it even necessary to play the “national anthem” at all? Any other form of entertainment — if I go see a movie, or a concert, comedy show, play etc. — there is no playing of the national anthem (and it didn’t even become de rigueur at ballparks and other stadia until somewhat recently). Why must we have to sit through it at a sporting event? Would we be any less patriotic or un-American if we scrapped the practice altogether? And while it’s not quite 100%, almost no single tv or radio broadcast is even on-air (at least regular season games) when the anthem is played. Are the networks being unpatriotic? Of course not.
Dang, these cans are pricey.
To equate LGBTQIA+ existence with support for an institution (military, fire, police, etc) is a poor analogy. It’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s a life. If players don’t want to wear them, I feel they should be chastised.
As far as the team, to have the event planned and then cancel it shows it (as usual) was about optics and money. None of the support events are about support , it’s making money which… Yeah, it always is. I have to give some credit to the NHL for even having these events. I watch international rugby and they have pride weeks where the refs and flags have rainbows. US sports are still too bigoted on the whole to deal with its homophobia.
It’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s a life.
Actually, being gay or trans or non-binary is not a lifestyle choice, just like being hetero is not a lifestyle choice. In fact, it’s much more inherent than a career option.
You don’t have to be for or against the jerseys, but let’s please not demean or diminish people by dismissing who they are with a patronizing term like “lifestyle choice.” Thanks.
I can see the ambiguity of how it was phrased, but taken with the rest of the comment, I think you and Mike J are in agreement. I think Mike J was saying “LGBTQIA+ existence… (is) not a lifestyle choice, it’s a life.”
Yeah, that’s how I read it as well
Becoming a soldier, policeman, or librarian is a “lifestyle choice”; being gay is a “life”.
“being gay or trans or non-binary is not a lifestyle choice” is exactly what Mike J said.
Homosexuality is not a choice, and it’s sad that anyone thinks it is at this point. But there’s much more nuance to the issue of transsexuality and its inclusion in the homosexuality umbrella than is typically discussed. Feeling as though you were born into the wrong body is not choice. But having an operation, the clothes you wear, taking hormonal meds, etc. are all choices by definition, and weighty ones at that.
Read a comment on another forum where the person referenced acceptance vs advocacy. Interesting. I took it as it’s one thing to support the idea that we should accept an individual’s lifestyle, it’s another to ask others to advocate in support of it. Not saying I agree or disagree, but I do understand there will be issues when your employer is asking you to advocate for something you don’t feel comfortable with. I suppose I would lean toward having the pride sweaters worn and auctioned, etc, for the cause, but if someone on the team doesn’t wish to, that’s OK also.
Again: Being gay, trans, non-binary, etc., is not a “lifestyle.” Please refrain from demeaning or diminishing people by using that type of patronizing language. Thanks.
Thanks, and sorry, not my intention.
I do think the next logical step in this is players/teams opting out from wearing Military themed uniforms, and I would support their right to do that as well. Agree or not with their views, athletes shouldn’t be forced to wear something that they don’t support. They are public figures and wearing that jersey could be seen as ‘representing’ the cause, so I totally understand this.
“Athletes shouldn’t be forced to wear something they don’t support”
There’s a part of me that wants to agree with this, but the other part of me asks where do you draw the line? I can understand this point of view if you’re talking about golf or tennis or bowling, where the person on the playing field is representing him/herself. But if you’re a part of a team, I feel there’s a certain obligation to put aside your own personality or “brand” or whatever and represent the team.
if you’re a part of a team, I feel there’s a certain obligation to put aside your own personality or “brand” or whatever and represent the team.
It’s not just “a certain obligation” or something implicit — it’s spelled out in each player’s contract and in the CBA that you wear whatever’s put in your locker.
This is not my opinion on the Pride events per se, but I’m sure we’ll see less ans less of them.
If there’s a remote chance these promotions get them in any trouble, I’m convinced the teams will just scratch them altogether. Especially since I don’t see much revenue coming in when holding such controversial events…
If they use rainbow tape for the pregame, do they warm up with a random stick or do they retape before the game starts? Is there a rule against rainbow tape or is balck preferred because the puck blends in with it?
Might be wrong on this, but I believe the taped up sticks etc also go up for auction. Although in this case they scrapped the auction.
I believe that many players re-tape their sticks between warmups and the game, and possibly also between periods. Or, since there’s usually a healthy supply of each player’s stick on the bench, they could have one rainbow-taped stick and then switch to a non-colorful one for the start of the game.
Pro sports are all about making money in any way possible. Be it saluting the military or putting a minority in the spotlight with special jerseys, donations, auctions et cetera. Contributing to any public cause is always done with one thing in mind: to make extra money (tax deductions included). So before we start the tug of war about the validity of teams and players engaging or refusing to engage in any cause, let us remember that the team owners and league officials are only in it for the money. We can support, defend or contradict any stance about these issues, team owners shrug their shoulders and count the extra money coming in. There is nothing genuine or heartfelt about it from their position.
True…sort of. People like to feel seen by the teams they support. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I appreciate when teams hold Pride events. When I was kid, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that professional sports teams would openly show support for LGBTQ fans. I disagree that it’s entirely about raising money. Is it good optics for teams to support diverse causes? Well, yes…mostly. Does that make it insincere? Not necessarily.
I am a gay man who thinks of himself as spiritual. That being said, religiousness rings hollow unless it’s the opinion of others, and not yourself spouting off about your piety. I think it’s odd religion is cited to disparage two adults loving one another, but the subject of conscientious objection never comes up when the event has a jingoistic, saber-rattling theme, replete with camouflage uniforms.
Well said. I can only speak about Christianity, because I’ve never ascribed to, or truly studied, any other. Christianity has two components; your relationship with God, and your relationship with humanity. You can’t separate one from the other, and your actions say much more than your words. So very tired of people without morals that ‘throw on their Jesus suit’ to show everyone how pious they are.
Let’s remember that religion is a vehicle….
Properly utilized, it will deliver us to our respective preferred destination…
Nothing wrong with Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or ANY religion…
Or if you have none, fine…
the point is to not let your own humanity corrupt the PRINCIPLES involved…
Love one another regardless of our differences….
As a trans and gay person, thanks to everyone who is upset thinks the people unwilling to participate are annoying and also you are all very nice. Seeing that the people here feel this way makes me feel hopeful that eventually me and all my friends who are like me will not have to deal with any of the extra troubles we have now. I appreciate all of you for being a reminder that, even though Republican lawmakers across the United States are trying (and in many cases succeeding) to pass anti trans laws, as well as others that limit the gender expression of people who do not fit into what our culture views as normal, the majority of people, though they may not (by no fault of their own) have a perfect understanding of the issues of gender, sexuality, etc, want us to be able to live a life that is worth living
I’m disappointed with the NHL, Paul, and a surprisingly large number of members of the Uni-Watch community with some of these reactions.
The point of nights like this is to show people that they are welcome, that they’re included, especially in spaces like pro sports where they historically haven’t been. That the leagues are trying to do better.
The reaction of teams, players, and yes some fans shows that a lot of the time we’re still not welcome. That they are not actually interested in doing better.
It’s just disappointing.
Sadly, I don’t believe that a team who has a Pride night is really more welcoming than one that doesn’t…
The bottom line is all that matters here. If they feel they will alienate more people with an awareness event than the number of people they leave out without the event, they’ll simply scrap it.
Seems to me that all are welcome, as long as the have plenty of cash to spend at the game.
This is why market mechanisms cannot move us towards a more egalitarian society. It’s not just that the prejudices of the rich overwhelm the prejudices of everyone else, it’s that the prejudices of the fanatic will overwhelm the prejudices of everyone else because he will spend all the money he has to support his cause. And it looks to me that people will sacrifice far more to be unequal than to be equal – including the extra effort of attacking and intimidating the other side.
Sports teams show me that I’m “welcome” by being willing to sell me tickets. That’s the extent of their welcome for me, and for anyone else, and I’m fine with that. I don’t want to begrudge your elation over this apparent overture, but it might not be the most realistic feeling in the world.
As with “military appreciation” farces, I think adult fans should be less credulous when targeted in this way, and teams should stop the fatuous community targeting that it set the precedent for.
You’re not wrong. The thing I find upsetting is the offering of an olive branch just to have it snatched away; if there had never been an olive branch in the first place, I wouldn’t have noticed.
Well, that’s a fair point. But what I’m saying is, the proffering of such “olive branches” was always doomed to end in no-win situations like this. Sports teams would’ve done better not to start that ball rolling.
Paraphrasing Margaret Thatcher, when a person is constantly reminding you they are religious, chances are that they are not.
Hope the Wild are making a large charitable donation to a local LGBTQIA organization since they’ve elected not to auction off the jerseys.
Trying to keep this focused on uniforms, I’ve always wondered why the NHL only uses these in pre-game warmups. Is there a rule that prevents them from having special jerseys for a night to be worn during the game?
It’s just their longstanding policy. All of the theme jerseys — military, Pride, Black History Month, St. Paddy’s, etc. — are just for pregame.
Personally, I’m all in favor of that.
Thanks for clarifying.
I’m pro LGBTQ, but I think all these promotions should be scrapped. Employees shouldn’t be put into these positions. IMHO, the biggest offender is the events, uniforms, and other things to support the military. I believe the military pays for many of these events, since they are advertising for them.
I’m not a fan of any promotion, but that’s just because I’m a uni traditionalist. I’d like to think there’s a way an organization can show support to whatever cause without being ham fisted or kitschy about it.I dunno. It’s all very tricky at this point.
Along with the occasional (not excessive) Retro Night, I still favor promotions that simply involve fan perks for everyone (i.e. Camera Day, reduced concession prices, etc…) and/or ´exclusive´ giveaways (some trinket for all fans, souvenir whatnots for kids under X, etc…). Those generally seem to be less problematic for team management/player personnel, appear to be well received by and unite fans, and get less scrutiny from the general public than cause/awareness-themed ones.
My maybe-no-too-well-thought-out remedy to the NHL Pride jersey issue: Assuming teams still use practice jerseys which come in a variety of colors (as the Flyers do):
…have players participate in pre-game warm ups wearing those. No special sweaters needed, no reason/excuse to opt out.
Religion is not the only reason there my be a backlash against wearing these in the NHL. Many players are from other countries, some of which are much less accepting of the LBGTQIA community. Russia for instance has laws against LBGTQIA propaganda. Wearing a pride night jersey could be a more complicated decision for players from those countries.
This is great news. Cut the forced causes and stop pretending we all share the same “universal values.” We don’t.
All of the allegedly socially conscious brands don’t dare advertise for such values in Muslim-majority countries.
Besides, we can debate the values all we want but here is the truth: these corporations are all about cashing in on whatever cause (or, in this case, jersey) will earn them greater profits or elevate their brand’s profile. This isn’t about altruism; it’s about greed.
I wonder what’s going to happen when a player objects to wearing a sponsor patch because he/she/they disagree with the business practices or political stances of the company on the patch. My guess is that someone within the organization will pull the player aside and tell them that they have no choice. And then the player will shut up and wear the patch. Which is really all anybody needs to know about the motivations behind any and all of this. If there’s money to be made by the organization the players don’t matter. But if there’s little to none the organization will let the players do what they want, regardless of how this reflects upon the organization. The organization is perfectly fine with looking bad if it won’t significantly impact it in the wallet. That changes very quickly the moment the bottom line is affected.
In many cases that already happens. Paul has shown many examples of baseball players ripping out the swoosh because they have a contract with a non-Nike apparel company We have also seen taped over logos from pros for the same reason.
Many of the comments here can be flipped on end and be just as applicable to the other side they’re trying to demean. For example, the Margaret Thatcher comment by Walter, replace “Religion” with “Trans” and it still applies. And as said by a commenter above, values aren’t shared universally. Regardless of the comments, this is Paul’s blog and he can do with it as he wants, but the political leanings filtered into the various posts (not talking about the comments) have personally been a turn off and I don’t come around here as much any more. For example, “These developments have taken place against the backdrop of a larger cultural and legislative battle, as many U.S. states have moved to restrict trans-related health care in recent months.” Paul may think it’s a simple objective and impartial statement. But that’s just from his perspective; it isn’t simple/objective/impartial and it’s a turn off, as I think it’s unneeded to even mention.
Again, it’s his blog and he’s clearly welcome to post and say what he wants, and I’m certain he does. I also know he also hopes to make as much money and get as much engagement as he can. That’s totally fine. And it’s very similar to what these pro organizations are doing. Of course.
For example, “These developments have taken place against the backdrop of a larger cultural and legislative battle, as many U.S. states have moved to restrict trans-related health care in recent months.” Paul may think it’s a simple objective and impartial statement.
That’s because it is, quite literally, a simple objective and impartial statement.
Is it? Some may argue aspects of “health care”, especially dependent on age group or how it is being “prescribed”, is much more nuanced and subjective.
We’ll have to agree to disagree, Markus. Take (health) care.
“Some” may use “scare quotes” to “couch” their transphobic opinions as “just asking questions.” But the rest of us can hear the dog whistle.
“I wonder what’s going to happen when a player objects to wearing a sponsor patch because he/she/they disagree with the business practices or political stances of the company on the patch.”
Ted Lasso storyline last season. Has there really not been an example of this yet?
I hated two things about Ted Lasso season 2:
1. The Rebecca/Sam romance. It was supposed to be cute, but the boss/employee dynamic made it REALLY weird.
2. That there was literally NO repercussions for anyone, players or the organization, for the sponsor protest. In real life, there would have been a media furor (especially in the British tabloids) and severe financial problems for the team.
I mean, it’s not a gritty realistic drama. It’s a sun-shiny feel good show about generally good things happening to nice people. The relegation twist is about the only counter-example.
Papiss Cissé a Muslim player for Newcastle United refused to wear their sponsor, Wonga, a payday loan company several years ago. He eventually gave in and wore it though.
Really? That’s cool. I don’t watch Ted Lasso but I’ve been thinking about that, obviously. Anyway, in the real world I think the clubs are going to come down hard on anyone within their organization that tries to screw with a revenue stream. They just don’t think the revenue generated by the sale of Pride Night-related merch matters, apparently. So they’ll let players do what they want and claim they’re supporting the individuality of the players. Until they’re not.
As someone who is very against these types of uniforms, but not against this community in general, I feel I can explain at least what my thought process is. I am very against putting any group of people in a “victimhood” class. This can be done from people inside or outside the group. It breeds resentment on both sides and is in no way productive. I feel the same way about those gender equality uniforms.
PS: I have no religious affiliation and can’t stand when people think “some religious people think this” —> “religion is bad” —> “all people who think this are religious so the argument is invalid”. Not all people who share a viewpoint do so for the same reason.
So then you’ll be consistent and oppose Canadian teams wearing uniforms commemorating (in a very indirect and distracting way) the discovery that their entire nation for generations was seizing and holding Native children in near-prisons and subsequently covered it up?
Because there really are victims of “traditional values.” I just find it disgusting that the commemoration was used to promote a business, when the erasure of Natives across the Americas was itself a business imperative to grow the White, profit-based, socioeconomic system. That calls for something more uncomfortable and unprofitable than a commemoration.
I don’t see much point in adding my opinion on the Pride unis to the morass of opinions that already exists in this thread, so I’ll just say that I REALLY like that Seattle butterfly logo! I wish they could somehow incorporate it into a game jersey, though I don’t know how it would make any sense with the “Kraken” identity.
Tangentially, I’m wondering if any player has ever had as much fun goofing on the standard team headshot in his career as Brandon Tanev. Kudos to the Kraken for keeping this in mind with his bobblehead. Good stuff! -C.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. I think that is a good comment for today.
Norm Macdonald used to do a bit about gay pride. Some of the language he used in it might rub some people the wrong way, but that was just his persona on stage. His view on the topic was that the kind of person someone finds sexually attractive is a peculiar thing to be proud of. For instance, I’m heterosexual and I like having sex with women, I also like playing golf, and I like eating cheeseburgers, too. What reason is there to be particularly “proud” of any of those things? They’re just my preferences, and there’s no reason to believe that my preferences are any better or worse than anyone else’s, so what is there to be proud of?
Gay people were told for centuries to be ashamed of who they are. Pride is the opposite of shame.
It’s not that difficult to understand.
Or at least it shouldn’t be.
Now that’s a good point…
Think it’s important to understand that all those special jerseys aren’t about supporting groups, charities, etc. They’re about selling more merch and making money.
Actually, the NHL’s pregame jerseys usually are not available for retail sale. (The pregame-worn ones are typically auctioned off for charity.)
If you’re opposed to the jerseys, that’s a perfectly valid position. But at least have your facts straight.
They don’t sell the pride ones specifically but its about getting people in the seats. They can, and will, buy other merch that they wouldn’t have been in the building to see. It’s always about the money.
This trend is not only understandable but also makes sense…
In today’s #MeToo World along with sex trafficking, including underage, the notion of making one’s sexual orientation a major topic of discussion, especially in a family-type environment such as a public sports event, seems a bit uninvited and even downright creepy, regardless of one’s sexual preferences…..No one on this site has ever, to my memory, talked about sexual exploits, preferences, actions, etc……Would be WAY off base IMHO
So you feel similarly about the Kiss Cam, I’m assuming..?
Yep, glad you see that too…Weird……and the proposals…and on-field weddings and hell, throw in divorces, too…ALL creepy….TMI Geez
“No one on this site has ever, to my memory, talked about sexual exploits, preferences, actions, etc”
Well, there was this guy Joe “Big Cock” Johnson…
Yep…reminds you of Deliverance, eh?
Wow, I’d completely forgotten about “Big Cock”. I wonder what that troll is doing these days.
As far as the Pride jerseys go. I think teams are just seeing that it doesn’t make financial sense to risk ticking off a large segment of their supporters for a very small segment that is both LGBT+ and also hockey fans. Not saying it’s right but that’s my take. I think you will see these events slowly go away.
They also aren’t saying “group X” isn’t welcome if they don’t have a pride day for it. Left handedness is not a choice. They don’t have left handed pride day. Lefties have been historically been stigmatized. But lefties are able to buy tickets just like anyone else, even without a pride night. Just sell ticket and play the games. Forget the grandstanding.
I wish teams would just greenlight selling the Pride jerseys in their store and online. I feel like they could make so much more money by having these available to buy, with a customized nameplate and number option. Then donate a portion of the sales to the local LGBTQIA+ community. I realize the warmup-worn and signed jerseys off the players backs will always be a huge auction item, but I’m tired of the nonsense surrounding them. I would hope there wouldn’t be any players who refuse to wear them, but that is entirely naïve and unrealistic. I think people get upset because it’s literally the bare minimum for an NHLer, regardless of their religious beliefs, to put on an effing jersey for 20 minutes that basically says “you are welcome in this arena to watch me play.” How hard is that? That’s literally all this has to be, take it at face value. Most people are entirely aware that’s it’s corporate capitalism at its finest and the NHL still has a long way to go to true equality and acceptance. But wearing a damn warmup jersey for 20 minutes is literally the most basic and easy thing to do.