NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Hints That League May Get Rid Of Pride Nights: 'More Of A Distraction Now'

After a number of players around the NHL have chosen not to participate in their team's Pride Night festivities of virtue signaling this season, league commissioner Gary Bettman could cancel them moving forward.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov was the first player this season to decide not to participate in his team's Pride Night due to his religious beliefs. He elected not to wear a rainbow-themed jersey during warmups, which caused the media to lose its collective mind.

ESPN's Greg Wyshynski labeled anyone who respected Provorov's decision a "homophobe" while some no-name anchor in Canada attacked all religious people.

Other NHL players including brothers Marc and Eric Staal of the Florida Panthers have since refused to participate in Pride Night while the Minnesota Wild, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers decided not to wear previously planned Pride-themed jerseys.

With players and organizations deciding it's not right to force people into participating in Pride Night activities, Bettman says Pride Nights as a whole need to be reevaluated this offseason.

"This is the first time we've experienced that, and I think it's something that we're going to have to evaluate in the offseason," Bettman told CTV News.

"This is one issue where players for a variety of reasons may not feel comfortable wearing the uniform as a form of endorsement," he said, according to Habs Fanatics.

"But I think that's become more of a distraction now because the substance of what our teams and we have been doing and stand for is really being pushed to the side for what is a handful of players basically have made personal decisions, and you have to respect that as well."

The easy solution here is to have players and teams choose whether or not they want to participate in Pride Nights, but personal choice only matters to the tolerable left when it fits their woke agenda.

The vast majority of hockey fans and sports fans, in general, do not care about sexuality during pre-game warmups or during an actual game. Getting rid of Pride Nights would only anger the incredibly loud minority, so it will be interesting to see if Bettman and the NHL will face that criticism or continue down the woke path they've already started on.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @itismarkharris

Written by

Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.