Luke Prokop, a player from the Nashville Predators who is the first openly gay person in an NHL contract, recently commented on different controversies about Pride Night. These happen when players or whole teams choose not to wear special rainbow-colored jerseys for this event. As an example of this, James Reimer from the San Jose Sharks chose not to participate in warmups on Pride Night due to his religious beliefs.
Prokop recently said that it was really sad that hockey teams aren’t welcoming Pride Nights anymore. He also mentioned how important these nights are when it comes to making sure that everyone can join and be part of the hockey game without any worries.
I’m sad that the NHL is taking a step back from supporting LGBTQIA+ people. Having teams wearing pride jerseys and organizing pride nights are important ways to show respect for everyone, but some teams aren’t doing this as much or have taken away the focus from what these events actually mean.
Prokop was selected in the NHL Draft in 2020, and came out as gay in July 2021. He told the Predators football team that he is gay, and his team president Sean Henry said they will make sure Prokop will feel safe on their team.
However, before Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders, Prokop said wearing a Pride Night warmup jersey went against his Christian beliefs.
Reimer said in his statement that he doesn’t hate anyone and always tried to treat everyone he met with respect. But this time, he decided not to agree with something because it was against what the Bible teaches which is the most important thing for him.
Back in January, a hockey player named Ivan Provorov did not wear a jersey with rainbow colors for a Pride Night game. Also, the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers also cancelled their plans to have pride-themed jerseys.
A report talked about some people worried if players from Russia had to wear the rainbow-colored jerseys they could get into trouble because of laws that do not allow gay rights in the country.