Blackhawks won’t wear pride jerseys due to safety concerns for Russian players: report

The Chicago Blackhawks were scheduled to wear rainbow-colored warm-up jerseys on Sunday for the team’s Pride Night, but that will no longer be the case.

The Blackhawks will not wear the LGBTQ-themed jerseys they have previously worn, citing safety concerns of their Russian players over the decision, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The new Russian law has banned «gay propaganda» and the equipment supposedly had conversations with security officers regarding the laws.

The law made it illegal for Russians to promote or «praise» the LGBTQ lifestyle.

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – APRIL 12: Rainbow colors are displayed on the Chicago Blackhawks warm-up jerseys for Pride Night before the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on April 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Blackhawks have three players with Russian heritage or family in Russia: defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, forward Philipp Kurashev and Kazakh goalie Anton Khudobin.

The NHL and several of its teams and players have come under fire in recent months for backing out of wearing pride uniforms despite previously announcing it.

Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers cited his Russian Orthodox religion in January for why he didn’t join his team to wear those jerseys.

He new york rangers promoted its Pride Night in January, saying players would wrap pride-themed ribbons on clubs and similar jerseys, but that plan too was rejected without explanation. The same thing happened with the Minnesota Wild earlier this month.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 05: A stick is taped in the colors of the rainbow during warm-ups in support of the NHL "hockey is for everyone" initiative during Pride Night before the game against the Edmonton Oilers at the United Center on March 5, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 05: A stick is taped in the colors of the rainbow during warm-ups in support of the NHL’s «Hockey is for Everyone» initiative during Pride Night before the game against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center on March 5, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

SHARKS GOALKEEPER CHOOSES NOT TO WEAR LGBTQ-THEMED WARM-UP SHIRT TO TEAM PRIDE NIGHT

Last weekend, San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer cited his Christian faith as the reason for forgoing wearing a rainbow jersey to his team’s Gay Pride Night: The team continued to tweet LGBTQ+ information and statistics during that game, and Reimer said he «didn’t hate in my heart for either».

Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop, the first openly gay player under an NHL contract, said he was «disappointed by what feels like a step backwards for his inclusion in the NHL.»

«Pride nights and pride shirts play an important role in promoting respect and inclusion in the LGBTQIA+ community, and it’s disheartening to see some teams no longer wear them or fully accept their importance, while the focus of others have become the players who are not». participate more than the meaning of the night itself,» she said.

«Everyone is entitled to their own set of beliefs, but I think it’s important to recognize the difference between supporting a community and respecting the people in it.»

Rainbow colors are displayed on Jonathan Toews #19 Chicago Blackhawks warm-up jersey for Pride Night before the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on April 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.

Rainbow colors are displayed on Jonathan Toews #19 Chicago Blackhawks warm-up jersey for Pride Night before the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on April 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

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The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and DJ Zel, a member of the LGBTQ community, will perform during intermissions. The Chicago Gay Hockey Association will also compete in an intermediate competition on ice.

The Blackhawks did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.