The Minnesota Wild chose to abandon its plan for players to wear LGBT-Pride-inspired warm-up jerseys for their NHL game tonight against the Calgary Flames. The team had previously announced they would be worn.
#mnwild players, who were supposed to wear Pride jerseys tonight and did so last season, are not wearing them in warmups.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 8, 2023
Told it was an organizational decision
The Wild have several other Pride initiatives they are doing>>>https://t.co/h45Wr5do5b
The Wild did change their Twitter avatar to a rainbow-colored logo, and Russo said various players did use Pride Tape on their warm-up sticks.
The latter had been announced previously by the club on the event website. Interestingly, Google says that website was updated just before the start of the match. It’s unknown whether that site had previously mentioned the jerseys being worn.
Regardless, the team had Pride jerseys all ready to be auctioned off (for charity, we presume). That website has been quietly removed.
The auction website gives me hope. pic.twitter.com/3tccN2Gqti— Keith Richter (@keith_richter) March 7, 2023
It’s just the latest disappointment to come out of the the NHL, which for years has seemingly helped lead a charge toward LGBT inclusion in sports. Now the Wild join the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers player Ivan Provorov as having abandoned a Pride-jersey warm-up initiative.
It’s also not the first time the Wild have upset LGBT fans. In 2018, the club’s “Hockey Is For Everyone” event didn’t acknowledge the LGBT community alongside other outreach groups.
To keep things in context, the Wild have made outreach efforts. You can see some of the things the club did do in and around the event on the website.
Yet the announcement of Pride jerseys — only to abandon the plan — is another slap in the face of a community that is currently going through some things.
Hopefully the Wild do what the Flyers did, tell the public who the problem was, and let him answer questions from the media. The way this is being handled by the Wild so far — quietly, deleting web pages with no announcement — is shady at best.