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Tags: gary bettman | nhl | pride night | lgbtq | jerseys | sports | hockey

NHL Tables Specialty Sweaters After Pride Night Backlash

By    |   Thursday, 22 June 2023 09:47 PM EDT

Following fan and player backlash to LGBTQ+ pride celebrations, the National Hockey League said that teams would retire season-themed and special cause-based sweaters.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed Thursday that the league would stop the practice of teams changing their jerseys to the sweaters during warmups, lamenting that it had become a "distraction."

The sweaters are "taking away from the fact that all of our clubs in some form or another host nights in honor of various groups or causes," Bettman told Sportsnet, adding that he would prefer the special causes "get the appropriate attention that they deserve."

However, Bettman did say teams could still host specialty nights like Pride Night and Military Appreciation Night, as well as having players model in the specialty items to sell on behalf of charities.

"It's really just the question of what's on the ice," Bettman emphasized.

The news comes after an explosion of backlash hit the NHL for its Pride Night events in honor of LGBTQ+ causes, with players and teams refusing to participate, ESPN noted.

Most players who pledged to sit out, like brothers Eric and Marc Staal for the Florida Panthers and San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer, cited their religious beliefs as reason for the decision.

It parallels actions some Major League Baseball players took in response to the Los Angeles Dodgers announcing plans to host the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an organization that performs drag shows that have been criticized for their portrayal of Catholic nuns.

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Following fan and player backlash to LGBTQ+ pride celebrations, the National Hockey League said that teams would retire season-themed and special cause-based sweaters.
gary bettman, nhl, pride night, lgbtq, jerseys, sports, hockey, baseball, l.a. dodgers
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2023-47-22
Thursday, 22 June 2023 09:47 PM
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