As the NHL considers canceling the “Pride Night” events that have drawn attention to the league this year because of player refusals to wear the jerseys, the Vancouver Canucks are going all in on pushing that viewpoint on hockey fans. In fact, they’re escalating things and now holding a pre-game drag show.
Announcing that on their website, the Canucks said (get ready for the new acronym), “The Vancouver Canucks will celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community on March 31 against the Calgary Flames during the team’s annual Pride Game, presented by Stanley Park Brewing.“
The Canucks quoted Michael Doyle, President, Canucks Sports & Entertainment, Business Operations. as saying, “The opportunity to celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is very important to our entire organization. Pride night and all the incredible activities that highlight this evening, is special for a number of reasons. Besides raising awareness and understanding, it also lets our fan base know that everyone is welcome here at Rogers Arena. Our club believes strongly in diversity and inclusion, and we look forward to celebrating these core values with our community.”
Continuing, the Canucks went on to say:
2SLGBTQIA+ represents two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual and additional sexual orientations and gender identities.
Canucks Sports and Entertainment is proud to welcome and support any teammate, coach, or fan who brings passion and energy to our community. It is important that everyone, from fans to teammates and coaches, feel welcome and comfortable enjoying the game we love, regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, colour, religion, or disability.
In addition to wearing Pride themed warmup jerseys designed by a local artist, a $20,000 donation on behalf of the Canucks for Kids Fund will be made to QMUNITY, a non-profit organization in Vancouver that supports and assists 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their allies.
The Cutting Edges will be featured on our social media channels on Friday, storytelling how their organization have been inclusion champions in hockey for the last 30 years.
Meanwhile, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated that when speaking to CTV News in Ottawa on Monday, saying:
“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, This is one issue where players for a variety of reasons may not feel comfortable wearing the uniform as a form of endorsement. 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.“
Ivan Provorov began the revolt that led to that statement when he refused to wear the jersey, saying, “Everybody, I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m gonna say. Any type of time I’m going to comment on that. If you have any hockey questions, I would, I would answer those…”
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