NHL considers dropping Pride events

NHL player Mark Staal says. “We feel that by us wearing a Pride jersey, it goes against our Christian beliefs.” Marc Staal © Jerry Coli | Dreamstime.com

The National Hockey League may be forced to drop Pride-themed events.

That’s right, the NHL is now considering putting hockey back where it belongs – on the ice and not in the realm of politics.

“The NHL is not about politics, it’s about hockey,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Monday. “While we support the LGBTQ+ community and their right to equality, our focus remains on the game and the athletes who play it.”

It’s about time someone in the sports industry acknowledges that we should focus on athletic ability, not on political identity.

In fact, many NHL players have chosen to keep their personal lives private, preferring to focus solely on their performance on the ice.

In 2010, Pride nights and other LGBTQ+ initiatives were introduced into the sport when the Stanley Cup first appeared at a Pride parade.

Then, in 2013, the NHL partnered with the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to pressuring the sporting league into hosting Pride celebrations.

But whatever happened to simply playing the game for the love of the sport?

NHL teams are now expected to ask players to wear rainbow-colored LGBT warm-up uniforms during pre-game practice, which some have objected to for religious or political reasons.

And let’s not forget about players from Russia, where homosexuality is banned, who fear government reprisals when returning home.

Canadian hockey players and brothers Eric and Marc Staal have stated that wearing a Pride jersey goes against their Christian beliefs, saying, “We feel that by us wearing a Pride jersey, it goes against our Christian beliefs.”

It’s not about hate or discrimination, it’s simply a matter of religious freedom or an opposing political view.

Ultimately, the NHL’s decision to drop Pride nights recognizes that the league’s focus should be on hockey, not politics.

By prioritizing the game and the athletes who play it, the NHL shows what values truly matter – athleticism, skill, and a shared passion for the sport.

After all, fans come to the game for the love of the sport, not to celebrate the LGBT lifestyle or its political agenda.


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