The Wild still celebrated LGBT “pride” on the ice before the game with rainbow pucks and rainbow-colored tape on the players’ sticks during warmups.
#mnwild players, who were supposed to wear Pride jerseys tonight and did so last season, are not wearing them in warmups.Told it was an organizational decision The Wild have several other Pride initiatives they are doing>>>https://t.co/h45Wr5do5b — Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 8, 2023
No announcement was made to explain the change in plan, but the team did issue a statement declaring its support for LGBT “Pride Night” and saying it was “celebrating in many ways.” [firefly_poll] “The Minnesota Wild organization is proud to continue our support of the LGBTQIA+ community by hosting our second annual Pride Night tonight, which we are celebrating in many ways,” the Wild said. “It is important to host nights like this to show all players, fans, and the LGBTQIA+ community that hockey is for everyone. We will continue to utilize our platform to strengthen our community and create a greater state of hockey,” it said.
❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 #mnwild pic.twitter.com/cfoM41318d— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 7, 2023
The only person seen with a Wild “pride” jersey Tuesday was Jack Jablonski, a gay former hockey player who has been paralyzed since 2011, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Jablonski led the arena in its pregame chant and was pictured on the Jumbotron.
Statement from #mnwild https://t.co/LKMiehafls pic.twitter.com/qKisskCW1p— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 8, 2023
In addition, Wild defenseman Jon Merrill donated tickets to Tuesday’s game to Queerspace Collective, a program for LGBT youth, MPR reported. The team first held a “Pride Night” in 2022, and players wore rainbow jerseys before that game.
A big thank you to the @mnwild on having me call the “Let’s Play Hockey” for Pride Night #ProudToRepPride 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/e2zGJi1WhN— Jack Jablonski (@Jabs_13) March 8, 2023
The decision not to do so this year sparked outrage on social media.
#Pride Night puck drop is right now ⬇️. #mnwild pic.twitter.com/1TOEspYxXD— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 30, 2022
Minnesota Wild backed out last second from wearing the jerseys on their pride night. Some trogs on the team.— Pas-Schenn? Non! Oui-Schenn! (@BBZ5) March 8, 2023
the minnesota wild announcing the retraction of pride jerseys right before the game starts is so cowardly— MC54 🧪 (@oilygifs) March 8, 2023
Bunch of bigots— Christopher (@StillTrying4now) March 8, 2023
Writing on the LGBT site OutSports, Cyd Zeigler called Tuesday’s move a “snub to the LGBT community” and “just the latest disappointment to come out of the NHL.” Zeigler wrote that “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.” The wearing of rainbow “pride” jerseys has run into flak this season in the NHL. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov declined to participate in warmups Jan. 18 when the team wore LGBT jerseys, citing his religion. “Clubs decide whom to celebrate, when and how — with League counsel and support. Players are free to decide which initiatives to support, and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues,” the NHL said in a statement at the time. Nine days later, the entire New York Rangers team rejected the jerseys, according to Fox News. “Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community, and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night. In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs,” the Rangers said in a statement. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Shame to the state and to the people. Once against hate wins. Which ever player it was should be ashamed of themselves.— Riptide🌹 Wild Cup Champs 2023 (@RiptideMN) March 8, 2023