The Chicago Blackhawks say they will NOT wear Pride pre-match jerseys against Vancouver
The Chicago Blackhawks say they will NOT wear Pride-themed pre-match jerseys against Vancouver, citing safety concerns for Russian players … becoming the third NHL team to reverse course this season
The Chicago Blackhawks will not wear Pride pre-match jerseys ahead of Sunday’s Pride Night game against Vancouver amid safety concerns related to a Russian law expanding restrictions on activities seen as promoting LGBTQ rights in the country.
The decision was made by the NHL organization after discussions with security officials inside and outside the franchise, according to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because of the sensitivity of the move.
The Blackhawks have previously worn Pride pre-match jerseys and have donned special pre-match jerseys at a few other themed nights this season.
According to the person who spoke to AP, there were ongoing discussions with the players about a Pride jersey, but the organization made the decision to hold Pride Night without the jerseys this year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed law in December significantly expanding restrictions on activities seen as promoting LGBTQ rights in the country.
The Chicago Blackhawks will not wear Pride warm-ups on their Pride night
Recently, two San Jose Sharks players and one LA Kings player wore Pride jerseys
Chicago defender Nikita Zaitsev hails from Moscow and there are other players with families in Russia or other ties to the country.
The Blackhawks’ decision comes after San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to participate in warm-ups while wearing Pride jerseys.
The New York Rangers chose not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride tape as part of their January night, despite previously promoting that plan.
Additionally, the Minnesota Wild reportedly backed away from their plans to wear Pride jerseys during warm-up.
Russia’s Nikolai Knyzhov and Alexander Barabanov wore the Pride jerseys for the Sharks on Saturday, as did the Kings’ Vladislav Gavrikov on their Pride night against the Canucks.
While Chicago will go without Pride pre-match shirts this year, the team has a variety of activities planned in connection with Sunday’s game.
DJs from the LGBTQ community will be DJing before the game and during intermission, and the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus will also perform.
There are also plans to highlight a few regional businesses with ties to the LGBTQ community.
But the Sharks’ James Reimer – who never played on their Pride night – chose to publicly release a statement saying he would not warm up with the team over his beliefs
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-11893115/Chicago-Blackhawks-say-NOT-wear-Pride-themed-warmup-jerseys-against-Vancouver.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The Chicago Blackhawks say they will NOT wear Pride pre-match jerseys against Vancouver