NHL’s Gary Bettman suggests league will reevaluate Pride-themed jersey nights amid spate of opt-outs
The NHL is in the midst of controversy as several teams and players decided to forgo wearing Pride-themed jerseys on nights celebrating the LBTQ+ community.
Players and teams have cited religious reasons and fear of reprisal in their home countries for forgoing the warmup jersey. When the issue initially popped up last month within the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers organizations, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman defended how the teams handled the situations.
However, as more players decided to opt-out, Bettman said Monday the backlash will be something the league “will have to evaluate in the offseason.”
“This is one issue where players for a variety of reasons may not feel comfortable wearing the uniform as a form of endorsement,” Bettman said, via CTV Ottawa.
SHARKS’ JAMES REIMER TALKS REFUSAL TO WEAR PRIDE-THEMED WARMUP, BELIEVES ‘EVERYONE HAS VALUE AND WORTH’
“But I think that’s become more of a distraction now, because the substance of what our teams and we have been doing and stand for is really being pushed to the side for what is a handful of players basically have made personal decisions, and you have to respect that as well.”
Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov, San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer and NHL veterans Eric and Marc Staal, who play for the Florida Panthers, each cited religious reasons as why they were opposed to wearing a jersey.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubishkin said he would opt out over fear of reprisal in Russia. The Chicago Blackhawks also used the same line last week.
Source: Fox News
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