The National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks set off cries of rage across “woke” Twitter when the team decided that it wouldn’t wear LGBTQIA+ jerseys during warmups before an upcoming home game on Pride Night.
With the decision to join the ranks of teams and players that have rejected virtue signaling in honor of the very special demographic, the organization cited a recently expanded Russian law that bans the promotion of homosexual “propaganda” that was originally introduced by Vladimir Putin in 2013 to protect minors but was expanded to include all ages late last year.
The Blackhawks nixed the pregame display of the “Pride” jerseys which was set to take place during Sunday’s contest against the visiting Vancouver Canucks – a meaningless matchup of the two of the league’s worst teams – after “discussions with security officials within and outside the franchise,” according to the Associated Press which first reported the decision, citing an unnamed source “familiar with the situation” who remained anonymous “because of the sensitivity of the move.”
Chicago has players who are from Russia or have family members in the country which is currently at war with neighboring Ukraine which it invaded last year.
“The league declined to comment through a spokesperson,” AP reported.
Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said that it was “an unfortunate situation” that left him and the players disappointed.
“I don’t think we can control the world issues, so that takes it out of our hands,” he said. “We’re just making decisions as best we can as an organization and for everybody.”
“We don’t want the jerseys to represent the entirety of the night,” said Chicago defenseman Seth Jones. “We’re still doing a lot for the LGBTQ community, and us as players respect that. We just thought that this was best for our team.”
With Chicago’s body checking of the LGBTQIA+ agenda, the team joins the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers as other league members who have recently declined to wear the jerseys promoting the message of the ascendant political movement.
In addition to the teams, a number of individual players have respectfully refused to participate in the on-ice promotion of homosexuality because it conflicts with their deeply held personal religious beliefs.
The news was met with the predictable accusations of “homophobia” and of being pawns of Putin by Twitter users who are down with forcing certain views down the throats of others who don’t agree.
It’s homophobia. Just say homophobia.
The Chicago Blackhawks will not wear Pride jerseys during their Pride Night warmups on Sunday due to “safety concerns” for their Russian players
Hockey is for everyone! 🙃 pic.twitter.com/uVUO4Rj2fd
— The GIST Canada (@thegistca) March 22, 2023
Who knew Vladimir Putin dictates policy for NHL teams? https://t.co/brKB4ckoub
— Outsports (@outsports) March 23, 2023
Chicago Blackhawks choose to support Vladimir Putin instead of the US 1st amendment. Worst team in professional sports?
— Blueelectron 🇺🇦 (@Blueelectron4) March 23, 2023
The Chicago Blackhawks will defy the NHL’s “Pride” initiative because of security concerns for their three Russian players. Do they think Vladimir Putin knows they have three Russian players? No one in Chicago does.
— Dave Hodge (@davehodge20) March 24, 2023
Yup! Nice try Blackhawks, guessing those players didn’t want to wear them. That’s what the team was concerned about, the backlash the players would get…pathetic.
— Chaos Forge Studio (@Chaosforged) March 22, 2023
Bet they didn’t cancel Military Appreciation Night. And they didn’t cancel their big to-do over supporting Ukraine. Russia isn’t the issue here…
— ️⚧️Kat (she/her/they/them) (@kat021171) March 23, 2023
Chicago blackhawks aren’t wearing lgbtq jerseys because it might hurt their Russian teammates. Maybe they could instead have a baby killing night to honor those same Putin ass kissers
— David Faulkner (@DavidFaulkner14) March 23, 2023
J.C. who knew wearing pride jerseys in hockey would be so controversial. Same ones who are anti-transgender too. I say call their asses out and boycott. How can a whole fucking hockey team be so homophobic? I'm talking about you Chicago Blackhawks. #hockeyisforeveryone
— Kat Sunshine (@deflowerthis) March 23, 2023
The haters didn’t bother to note that the Blackhawks organization has planned a host of activities related to honoring the LGBTQIA+ cause for the occasion.
According to AP, “The Blackhawks planned a variety of LGBT-related activities in conjunction with Sunday’s game. DJs from the LGBTQ community will play before the game and during an intermission, and the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus is slated to perform. There also are plans to highlight a couple of area businesses with ties to the gay community.”
One of the league’s original six teams, the Blackhawks suffered through decades of being largely mediocre before a dominant run during which the team won three Stanley Cups from 2010-2015. Now in total rebuilding mode, it will likely be a long climb back to the top of the NHL mountain for the Windy City’s professional hockey franchise.
The team added to their current season’s growing loss total by being on the receiving end of a 6-1 clubbing by the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
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