The National Hockey League has been involved in some backlash pertaining to Pride Nights being put on by various teams.
That continued with the Chicago Blackhawks who made the decision not to wear special warmup jerseys to commemorate Pride night before Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.
The team cited a Russian anti-gay law. There are at least two players on the team connected to Russia.
The anti-gay law they are referring to was signed by President Vladimir Putin and was put in place essentially to shut out what it deems “non-traditional” values. Additionally, to expand on the restrictions to supporting LGBTQ+ rights.
Coach Luke Richardson told AP Sports it was “an unfortunate situation.”
“I don’t think we can control the world issues, so that takes it out of our hands,” Richardson said. “We’re just making decisions as best we can as an organization and for everybody.”
The Blackhawks still plan to have various LGBTQ+-related events during Sunday’s game, including DJs from the LGBTQ community who play before the game and during an intermission. The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus also is said to be performing.
“We don’t want the jerseys to represent the entirety of the night,” Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones also told AP Sports. “We’re still doing a lot for the LGBTQ community, and us as players respect that. We just thought that this was best for our team.”
In January, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to participate in the team’s Pride Night, citing religious beliefs. He didn’t use the Pride-themed jersey or warmup stick made available to him.
“My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” he said.
His head coach, John Tortorella defended Provorov’s decision.
For the Minnesota Wild, they canceled their previously scheduled Pride Night event which was supposed to take place earlier this month.