Report: Chicago Blackhawks Won't Wear Pride Warm-Up Jerseys ... Citing Security Concerns
3/23/2023 10:15 AM PT
10:44 AM PT -- The Blackhawks said the NHL made the decision to prevent the org. from wearing Pride-themed warm-up jerseys ... after discussions with security officials.
Chicago coach Luke Richardson called the move "an unfortunate situation" -- adding, "that’s just what we have to deal with."
"I don’t think we can control the world issues, so that takes it out of our hands," Richardson said. "We’re just making decisions as best we can as an organization and for everybody.”
The Chicago Blackhawks will not wear Pride-themed warm-up jerseys for Pride Night on Sunday, according to a report ... citing security concerns for their Russian players after the country passed an anti-LGBTQ law making it illegal to promote "gay propaganda" in Russia.
According to the Associated Press, the Blackhawks -- who've worn Pride warmup jerseys before -- ultimately decided against wearing the jerseys this season for the April 12 celebration after consulting with security officials ... who took into account president Vladimir Putin's newly-expanded law which makes it illegal for anyone to promote gay relationships as "normal."
Of course, the Blackhawks call Chicago home ... but the team has several Russian players on the roster, including defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, who is a Moscow native. There are also players on the team with family members living in Russia.
Chicago's decision comes just days after San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer refused to participate in his team's Pride event, saying his Christian beliefs won't allow him to wear a Pride-themed jersey.
“I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins and, in response, asks me to love everyone and follow him," Reimer said. "I have no hate in my heart for anyone, and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness.
"In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life. I strongly believe that every person has value and worth, and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey."
As for the Blackhawks, they have yet to officially announce the decision.
Originally Published -- 10:15 AM PT