NHL May Reconsider Gay Pride Nights Amid Opt-Outs by Players and Teams

The NHL may be reevaluating its gay pride nights after a growing number of players and teams have opted out due to religious or foreign pressure reasons, according to a Fox News report.

This has prompted Commissioner Gary Bettman to acknowledge that the issue will have to be evaluated in the offseason.

Some players have cited their personal religious beliefs for not wearing gay pride jerseys, while others fear for their safety due to a new law in Russia that outlaws “gay propaganda.”

The law has made some players and teams wary of having their Russian-born players wear gay pride jerseys, as it could potentially put them and their family members who still live in Russia at risk of being targeted by authorities.

Commissioner Bettman has defended the decision of players to opt out, stating, “This is one issue where players for a variety of reasons may not feel comfortable wearing the uniform as a form of endorsement.”

He added that a handful of players have made personal decisions, which must be respected.

However, the growing number of opt-outs has caused the league to face a dilemma, and Bettman notes that the issue must be evaluated.

He stated, “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.”

The NHL has previously held gay pride nights as a way to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.