Just keep politics out of sports.
Now planning to get rid of any “distraction,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that players will no longer wear LGBTQ-themed jerseys on the ice.
“I suggested that it would be appropriate for clubs not to change their jerseys in warm-ups because it’s become a distraction and taking away from the fact that all of our clubs in some form or another host nights in honor of various groups or causes, and we’d rather them continue to get the appropriate attention that they deserve and not be a distraction,” said Bettman to SportsNet at Thursday’s NHL Board of Governors meeting.
Coming in the middle of Pride Month, the announcement follows a wave of criticism that has slammed the league for allegedly not making the LGBTQ community feel welcome at games, with Bettman labeling those “concerns” as “legitimate.”
“But in the final analysis, all of the efforts and emphasis on the importance of these various courses have been undermined by the distraction in terms of which teams, which players, this way we’re keeping the focus on the game and on these specialty nights, we’re going to be focused on the cause,” said Bettman.
Pride Nights and other heritage celebrations will remain, said Bettman.
“All of those nights will continue. … The only difference will be is we’re not going to change jerseys for warm-ups because that’s just become more of a distraction from, really, the essence of what the purpose of these nights are,” Bettman said.
Bettman even went on to say that LGBTQ jerseys will be both designed and sold, and that players can “model them” if they decide to do so.
“It’s really just a question of what’s on the ice,” said Bettman.
The NHL has officially CANCELLED PRIDE night jerseys
Bettman: “They are a distraction”pic.twitter.com/ReX6QVMbpy
— The Pleb 🇨🇦 Reporter (@truckdriverpleb) June 22, 2023
Politics and sports never has and never will mix well, and here’s yet another example for you.
Gary Bettman is right. It doesn’t matter how you feel about the LGBTQ+ community, you have to agree that the jerseys have become nothing but a distraction. Me personally, I’m just a big pusher of keeping politics out of sports. I can’t stand it. Like seriously, if I’m in a political mood, I just read the Daily Caller or watch Fox News or something. Why do I need extra political content when I’m just trying to lay back, drink a beer and watch a game? (RELATED: When It Rains, It Pours! PETA Calls For FIFA To Drop Budweiser After Claiming They Amputate Clydesdales’ Tailbones)
I don’t. And Bettman thankfully gets that — for the most part anyways.