(Daily360.com) – The National Hockey league (NHL) has announced they will no longer be wearing the LGBTQ Pride jerseys or any other specialty jersey during pre-game warm-ups. It’s become something of a modern day tradition for teams to wear a jersey corresponding to a promotional night in the arena prior to the game beginning. The teams come out on the ice, skate around, pass and shoot the puck among each other before the actual league game starts. For these activities the teams don’t need to wear their official uniform jersey. Then they depart the ice for a time and come back in the official game jersey and play. So, the LGBTQ-themed jerseys were not worn during any game but only for this one activity. Nonetheless some players objected to wearing it, usually citing a conflict with their religious beliefs.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has stated this season, that these are the first instances of these objections happening and was going to look into the issue. He along with his board of governors agreed the best policy was to simply go back to a traditional team warm up for the pre-game activities. Not only banning the LGBTQ theme jersey but any and all similar theme jerseys. He said teams are free to have the promotional nights for LGBTQ, military appreciation, black history or any other theme they deem worthy. The commissioner says the line is drawn at “what’s on the ice.” Last season in addition to the payers who chose not to wear the jersey three teams, the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks chose not to have the jersey promotion at all with the Blackhawks citing fear for the safety of the Russian players as a concern. LGBTQ groups have voiced their disapproval of this decision but Bettman is holding firm that this issue has “become a distraction” for the fans and players.
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