National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman revealed this week that the league is considering nixing its Pride Night events because an increasing number of players are refusing to participate, and this is becoming a “distraction.”
As previously reported, the NHL has been holding Pride Nights for several years now to show solidarity with the LGBT community. The events basically force players to don LGBT-themed clothing and play with LGBT-themed gear.
In recent months, however, an increasing number of players, particularly ones of faith, have been refusing to participate — but not out of any sort of hate. They’ve refused to participate simply because Pride Nights go against their religious convictions.
NHL player cites Bible, faith in Jesus Crist to explain refusal to wear LGBTQ-themed jersey https://t.co/57Akc70W98 pic.twitter.com/lKRDItH0gV
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 20, 2023
“This is the first time we’ve experienced that, and I think it’s something that we’re going to have to evaluate in the offseason,” Bettman told CTV News this Monday in regard to this newly emerging phenomenon.
The players’ refusals have also sparked a massive backlash from radical LGBT activists and their allies in the legacy establishment media. This in turn has created what Bettman termed a “distraction.”
“This is one issue where players for a variety of reasons may not feel comfortable wearing the uniform as a form of endorsement. 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,” he said.
The most recent players to refuse to participate were Eric and Marc Staal of the Florida Panthers.
“The brothers did not participate in warm-ups where players wore Pride-themed sweaters before the team’s home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs,” according to CNN.
In a statement, the brothers attributed their decision to their Christian convictions.
“After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear a Pride Night jersey tonight. We carry no judgment on how people choose to live their lives, and believe that all people should be welcome in all aspects of the game of hockey. Having said that, we feel that by us wearing a Pride jersey it goes against our Christian beliefs,” they said.
The statement prompted immediate backlash from radical activists:
wow christians are always so eager to demonstrate what bigots they are
— the discourse sommelier (@funnierhandle) March 23, 2023
Nothing says “I believe in the teachings of Jesus” like deciding you hate millions of Americans who were born a certain way and who aren’t hurting you in the slightest
Pure garbage, raised by pure garbage
— Ned Pyle (@NerdPyle) March 24, 2023
“We carry no judgement, we just don’t respect LGBTQ+ people enough to acknowledge their rights.”
Tell them their actions speak louder than anything they might claim.
— Dr. ACME Sales Rep. (@ACMESalesRep) March 24, 2023
I will never understand why wearing a rainbow themed jersey is a bridge too far for these guys and worth making themselves a story on a night they don’t want to be part of? Your religious values are about what is in your heart and nothing to do with wearing a jersey for warmup
— Rob Bourque (@bourqueis) March 23, 2023
we carry no judgment except that lgbtqia+ ppl are against god but everyone is welcome in hockey! we just won’t welcome you! but we swear you’re welcome here! please respect our homophobic beliefs even though we’re totally cherry picking what parts of “the bible” matter to us. pic.twitter.com/U0jcFsh1Pt
— sarah (@sarahshosha) March 23, 2023
This sort of backlash seemingly erupts every single time an NHL player refuses to participate and wear an LGBT-themed jersey or play with LGBT-themed equipment.
So-called “journalists” are oftentimes the loudest complainers, as happened when James Reimer, a goaltender for the San Jose Sharks, refused to wear a Pride-themed warmup jersey earlier this month.
In a statement shared by his loyal team, he said that his decision had nothing to do with hate in his heart. It had to do simply with his religious convictions.
View the full statement below:
A statement from Goaltender, James Reimer: pic.twitter.com/GwhWxhbmb4
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 18, 2023
Yet despite him going out of his way to stress that he has no issues with members of the LGBT community participating in hockey, the backlash was swift. And not surprisingly, much of it came from “journalists” (writers, editors, correspondents, etc.)
The same thing happened last week when the entire Chicago Blackhawks decided to not wear LGBT jerseys during warmups at a Pride Night home game.
To be fair, the Blackhawks abstained from participating because of an entirely different reason: Namely, a Russian law that bans the promotion of homosexual “propaganda.” It’s a long story.
Chicago Blackhawks ditch woke LGBTQ pride jerseyshttps://t.co/7EJ7w90Wlt
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 24, 2023
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