The NHL has banned the use of rainbow-colored pride ribbons and other themed party gear for practices and pregame warmups.
“You don’t support every charity that comes to you,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.
This ban will also include respect for the military and community charities.
According to Bettman, the league is simply selective when it comes to choosing social causes.
“The ones you don’t choose to do don’t necessarily make you a bigot, a misogynist, a homophobe or a racist,” Bettman said.
Military historian Ken Hynes told CTV News he’s “disappointed” the NHL isn’t hosting military-themed nights to honor people who have served our country, but he understands why the NHL took this step. decision.
“Sports teams, in general, are under a lot of pressure to support all causes and all organizations,” Hynes said. “I think the NHL finally realized that not pleasing anyone was the only logical thing to do.”
Kevin Schulz works for Halifax Mussels.
“We are a group that provides a safe and welcoming space for 2SLGBTQ+ members and our allies to learn and play hockey,” said Schulz, disappointed by the NHL’s decision.
“The NHL has made a lot of progress in the past, in recent years, when it comes to pride, inclusion and diversity,” said Schulz, who emphasized that he sees this as a step backwards. “I think stakeholders, sponsors and players are going to have meaningful reactions to this.”
Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said he has already enjoyed the opportunity to support many organizations at previous theme nights.
“Whether it’s pride ribbon, pink ribbon or whatever, it’s always something I’ve enjoyed,” said McDavid, who also said he would like to see the parties at theme reinstated in the future.