Despite pressure from some LGBTQ rights activists, the National Hockey League has refused to give in to political correctness for the sake of appeasement. That’s why players will no longer be allowed to adorn their uniforms or equipment with any Gay Pride logos, symbols, or markings going forward. That includes the rainbow-colored tape that some NHL players put around their sticks.
Per the LGBTQ+ sports site Outsports, the NHL’s decree follows a 2022-23 season when a handful of players — including Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov and then-Sharks goalie James Reimer — declined to participate in their clubs’ Pride Night celebrations. Naturally, their reporting was quick to blast the move.
Last June, the league got rid of jerseys and patches that signified support for the LGBTQ community after certain players felt uncomfortable wearing them due to conflicting religious beliefs..
However, commissioner Gary Bettman observed the issues that many players had with recognizing a lifestyle that they don’t support, which is likely one of the factors that led the world’s premier hockey league to just pull the plug on events altogether – lest they trample one individual’s rights to acknowledge another’s.
Representatives for the NHL and the NHLPA did not comment on the decision.
While the move has been labeled as homophobic and anti-LGBTQ by some, the league ban extends beyond the rainbow. Different colored sticks and tape – even signifying things like camo to honor the military or pink for breast cancer awareness – are also part of the ban.
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