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Insider Reveals Why NHL Teams Are Scrapping 'Pride' Plans
Photo credit: NHL.com

INSIDER REVEALS WHY NHL TEAMS ARE SCRAPPING 'PRIDE' PLANS

MAR 12, 2023  (18H38)      JON
Multiple NHL clubs have scrapped their plans to don 'Pride' warm-up jerseys; the Philadelphia Flyers started it when D Ivan Provorov opted out, followed shortly after by both New York clubs and then the Minnesota Wild.

The decisions outraged the affected demographic and others who feel these indiscretions are simply a spit in the face of the idea of inclusivity and acceptance.

In reality, however, there is a deeper story. Some things are bigger than hockey, and certain things are truly too big to ignore. In this case, it's the Russian government which shoulders the responsibility.

According to Michael Russo and a cadre of writers for The Athletic, teams are scrapping 'Pride' plans so as to protect their high-profile Russian players from possible persecution. For anyone who doesn't know, homosexuality and all LGBTQ+ 'propaganda' are illegal in Russia and considered jailable offenses. Ipso facto, sporting 'Pride' themed clothing could land these players in hot water when they return home.




Ben Noble, associate professor of Russian politics at University College London says: "These are legitimate fears. If you put on a Pride jersey, then there is uncertainty regarding how this would be interpreted by law enforcement in Russia and that's a risk. The authorities have the power to enforce this and other legislation selectively. It's up to them to decide whom they go after."

While it is hardly an ideal scenario, clubs placing their players' interests and safety at the top of their priority list is totally understandable. To some, at least. It seems foreign to those of us in the 'free West,' but not every corner of the world puts the same emphasis on civil liberties that we do.

Ipso facto, don't be shocked when more and more clubs scrap pre-scheduled Pride plans.
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