After previously announcing they would be wearing LGBTQ+-themed warm-up shirts and wearing rainbow ribbon to their seventh annual Pride Night, the New York Rangers players changed tack.
The team brought in NYC Pride co-chairman Andre Thomas for the ceremonial delivery of the record, but he was unaware that the team made a last-minute decision on something it had done in years past.
When asked why they got rid of the jerseys, the Rangers gave Fox News Media the following statement:
«Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to call 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.» .
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However, the absence of the shirts and ribbon was a blatant omission for NYC Pride, and the organization issued the following statement to ESPN:
«In recent years, numerous National Hockey League (NHL) franchises, including the New York Rangers, have hosted a series of ‘Pride Nights’ to engage the LGBTQ+ community.
«NYC Pride has been honored to participate in these celebrations, including last night at Madison Square Garden. NYC Pride was not made aware prior to our participation in the record ceremony last night that the Pride shirts and rainbow ribbon would not be used as Announced We understand and appreciate that this has been a huge disappointment to the LGBTQ+ community in New York and beyond.
RANGERS DANCE FOR WEARING LGBTQ-THEMED WARM-UP SWEATERS AT PRIDE NIGHT
«We are communicating these concerns to the NY Rangers and NHL leadership as we continue to discuss ways these organizations can work toward inclusion. NYC Pride has a duty to support our partners and hold them accountable. We are committed to continuing our relationships with the NY Rangers and the NHL and have a substantive dialogue with them about a meaningful partnership with the LGBTQ+ community.»
One player told the New York Post I didn’t know why the shirts weren’t worn. The team made a contribution to the Ali Forney Center, an agency dedicated to homeless youth in the LGBTQ+ community.
Rangers pride jerseys have been auctioned off for charity in each of the past two seasons.
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This comes less than two weeks later philadelphia flyers defender Ivan Provorov did not wear an LGBTQ-themed jersey during his team’s Gay Pride Night, citing religious beliefs.
«I respect everyone and I respect everyone’s decisions» Provorov told reporters after the game on January 17. «My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.»