(TStarnes) – The National Hockey League says players will not be wearing gay pride-themed jerseys onto the ice during warm-ups.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says to avoid any distraction, themed jerseys will no longer be worn 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,” Bettman told SportsNet at the NHL Board of Governors meeting on Thursday.
He said the ban on jerseys does not include Pride night celebrations.
“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,” he said.
David Palumbo, a spokesman for an NHL-affiliated grassroots campaign to promote inclusion in sport, said he was disappointed to hear the commissioner’s comments.
“What I can say is if this is the case, what is very disappointing is that over 95 per cent of the NHL players who proudly wore (Pride jerseys) to show support and their values to the community will not get an opportunity to do so again. Of course pride should be 365 and we will continue to work toward that with everyone involved,” Palumbo said