The Minnesota Wild players opted not to wear a rainbow-themed jersey during warm-ups for the team’s second annual Pride Night on Tuesday, despite a prior announcement from the team.
The Wild played the Calgary Flames in an event designed to highlight the LGBTQ community “with a lot of in-game elements (that) would incorporate the Pride theme.”
A special Pride Night ticket package, including a Minnesota Wild Pride Night t-shirt, a pregame ice photo, and a pregame meetup, was made available to fans, and a portion of the Proceeds benefited Twin Cities Pride, a local nonprofit that works to “empower every LGBTQ+ person to live as their true selves.”
The team temporarily changed their logo on social media to include the colors of the Pride rainbow. Some players wore Pride pucks and Pride tape on their sticks during warmups, which were autographed by select players and donated to Twin Cities Pride, Twin Cities Queer Hockey Association, and Team Trans.
The players were also supposed to wear Pride jerseys during warmups, as they did last year, but that never happened, according to sportswriter Michael Russo, who covers the Minnesota Wild and National Hockey League for The Athletic.
“(I) was told it was an organizational decision,” he tweeted Tuesday night.
According to Russo, the jerseys even appeared on the team’s auction site, but the entry was removed.
“Some of the themed game programming includes custom-designed Wild Pride jerseys worn by the team during pre-game warmups,” the since-deleted post read.
The team, which lost 1-0 in a shootout against the Flames, later released a statement saying it would continue to “host nights like this to show players, fans and the LGBTQIA+ community that hockey is for everyone.”
Earlier this year, Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers also refused to wear a Pride-themed jersey during the team’s LGBTQ Pride event, citing his Russian Orthodox religion as the reason he chose not to participate in the charity event. .