On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild hosted their annual Pride Night celebration game where the team previously announced that it would be wearing special rainbow-colored warmup jerseys ahead of the team’s game against the Calgary Flames in a show of support of the LGBTQIA+ community. But shortly before the game, the team scrapped that plan.
According to a report from The Athletic, the team previously announced that it would be wearing the special jerseys before the game and that the jersey would then be auctioned off. But the players never wore the jerseys and that post has since been deleted.
“Part of the themed game programming includes custom-designed Wild Pride jerseys worn by the team during pre-game warmups,” the post on the auction site said before it was removed. “The custom warmup jerseys will be signed and auctioned off starting March 7.”
The Minnesota Wild said the last-minute decision not to wear the jerseys was “an organizational decision” and the team released a vague statement expressing support for the LGBTQIA+ community while not actually explaining why the team elected not to wear the rainbow jerseys.
“The Minnesota Wild organization is proud to continue our support of the LGBTQIA+ community by hosting our second annual Pride Night tonight, which we are celebrating in many ways. It is important to host nights like this to show all players, fans, and the LGBTQIA+ community that hockey is for everyone. We will continue to utilize our platform to strengthen our community and create a greater state of hockey,” the Wild said in a statement.
It was certainly a controversial move, and the team was blasted for it on Twitter.
It’s a shame to see so many clubs do this, then turn around and wear *insert any other specialty jersey here*. It literally says, no no I actively WILL NOT support this initiative. BUT THEN HAVE THE PRIDE MERCH FOR SALE, like you think actually we’re *dumb* dumb. https://t.co/2BBpvdC32B
— Anya Packer (She/Her) (@battaglinoa) March 8, 2023
I just don't know what to say at this point. Wear the jersey, show people they're welcomed and safe. It's so simple. https://t.co/wAT9RUo3r3
— Ian Kennedy (@IanKennedyCK) March 8, 2023
After the legislative attacks on the LGBT community recently, this is cowardice at best and outright hate at worst.
Who do you really want in your "hockey is for everyone" tent, NHL?
Would love the mainstream hockey media to make noise about this. I won't hold my breath. https://t.co/mTQc6uwJ0d
— Jake Goldsbie (@JGoldsbie) March 8, 2023
league needs to set guidelines for this stuff. it’s a slap in the face to host pride nights, etc and then have the team essentially opt out of participating https://t.co/1nk2l8KfdC
— jokerfied leisure suit larionov (@failsonmcdonald) March 8, 2023
These guys never seem to struggle with wearing the military jerseys. https://t.co/fFETU5BiSb
— Rob Slater (@RobSlater10) March 8, 2023
The NHL is ceding ground to people who support and commit hate crimes. That is all this is. https://t.co/FNNAxq4Fad
— Emily (@emilydawnlove) March 8, 2023
It’s fair to wonder if the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative actually means anything.