After initially saying its job fair was only open to certain groups of people, the National Hockey League opened the event to everyone after criticism from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Last week, the league shared a since-deleted LinkedIn post promoting the "Pathway to Hockey Summit" job fair Feb. 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with some specific participation requirements, according to Breitbart.
"Participants must be 18 years of age or older, based in the U.S., and identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and/or a person with a disability," the requirements reportedly read. "Veterans are also welcome and encouraged to attend."
Bryan Griffin, DeSantis' press secretary, released a statement rebuking the NHL for its stated hiring preferences.
"Discrimination of any sort is not welcome in the state of Florida and we do not abide by the woke notion that discrimination should be overlooked if applied in a politically popular manner or against a politically unpopular demographic," Griffin said, according to The Florida Standard. "We call upon @NHL to immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed on attendance to the 2023 'Pathway to Hockey' summit."
An NHL spokesperson told Fox News that the "original wording to the LinkedIn post associated with the event was not accurate."
"The Pathway to Hockey Summit is an informational and networking event designed to encourage all individuals to consider a career in our game – and, in particular, alert those who might not be familiar with hockey to the opportunities it offers," the spokesperson said.
The backtracking follows the league's release of a diversity and inclusion report in October, which made a commitment to hiring practices that consider factors like "racial demographics," "gender identity," and "sexual orientation."
In November, the NHL tweeted its support for a "transgender and nonbinary" hockey tournament in Wisconsin, saying, "The NHL is proud to support this past weekend's Team Trans Draft Tournament in Middleton, Wisconsin. This was the first tournament comprised entirely of transgender and nonbinary players, with around 80 folks participating!"
The NHL affirmed transgender players' identities in response to a user who asked if men would play on a women's team during the tournament.
"Trans Women are women," the NHL wrote. "Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real."
According to Breitbart, a transgender female player seriously injured a transgender male player during the tournament game with an open-ice hit that resulted in a concussion.
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