The Left professes to cherish diversity, but the diversity it has in mind is one of people of all races, genders (all seventy-two of them), and cultures saying and doing and thinking the same things. It most emphatically does not involve any diversity of thought or disagreement from the Leftist line on anything. But genuine diversity is breaking out in, of all places, the National Hockey League (NHL), as an increasing number of players are daring to express thoughts different from those that our self-anointed moral superiors wish them to think. It’s glorious to behold, but how long it will last before league officials bring the hammer down is anyone’s guess.
ESPN reported, no doubt amid loud expressions of rage and disgust among its editors, that the NHL’s New York Rangers “did not wear Pride Night jerseys or use rainbow stick tape during warmups on Friday night, despite promoting them in ticket sales materials leading up to the game.” Horror of horrors! The Rangers, those wicked heretics, “promoted Pride Night to fans by saying players ‘will be showing their support by donning pride-themed warm-up jerseys and tape in solidarity with those who continue to advocate for inclusivity.’” But no such expression of “solidarity” ensued. Instead, the team opted to show solidarity with those who love freedom, and “wore their ‘Liberty Head’ jerseys in warmups.”
This intolerable expression of dissent from the Rangers is something new: the team has always been compliant in the past. “In previous seasons,” ESPN noted in a sentence that was a masterpiece of subtle emotional manipulation, “Rangers players had Pride-themed jerseys and sticks that were auctioned off after the game for charity.” But this year, the recipients of this charity were left staring plaintively at the locked door of the Rangers’ clubhouse. There would be no rainbow sticks or gay jerseys for them. Oh, for the love of all that is decent, won’t you think of the children?
What’s more, it isn’t as if the “charities” in question were really stiffed. ESPN notes that “the Rangers’ 7th annual Pride Night was celebrated throughout the game in other ways. Fans were given a pride-themed fanny pack as a giveaway. The exterior and interior lights at Madison Square Garden were illuminated in rainbow colors. The Rangers also made a charitable donation to the Ali Forney Center on Pride Night, the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ+ homeless youths in the country.” So everyone should be happy, no? No. The Left can’t tolerate even the smallest expression of dissent.
The Rangers were likely emboldened to take this unacceptable stand by the notorious Ivan Provorov, the Philadelphia Flyers defenseman who refused less than two weeks ago to don the Flyers’ rainbow Pride Night warmup jersey, citing his Russian Orthodox beliefs. Flyers coach John Tortorella said that Provorov was “being true to himself and to his religion,” but of course, his act has sparked furious controversy. It is perfectly all right, and even expected, that gay people will be proud of being gay, and that everyone who isn’t gay will join them in expressing this pride. It is outside the bounds of acceptable behavior, however, for a Christian to stand on his Christian beliefs, and if he dares to do so anyway, he shouldn’t expect that anyone will stand with him.
After their players demonstrated their heresy, the Rangers were anxious to reaffirm their adherence to Leftist orthodoxy, saying in a statement: “Our organization respects the LGBTQ+ community and we are proud to bring attention to important local community organizations as part of another great Pride Night.” But then how to explain the players’ effrontery and dissidence? “In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”
Is that going to fly? Probably not. Wokeness is a strict religion that demands full obeisance both from those who adhere to it and those who do not. If the Flyers had had Russian Orthodox Night in honor of Ivan Provorov and announced that every player, regardless of his own religion, would be wearing jerseys featuring the Russian Orthodox three-bar cross, the woke would be enraged, and energetically exercising “everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.” But dissent from Pride Night? Provorov alone was bad enough, and now it’s an entire team. The NHL is enthusiastically Leftist, and this is getting out hand; the league is unlikely to allow it to go any further.
But over the last few weeks, we have seen not one, but two expressions of genuine diversity in the NHL. It has been far more thrilling than the games themselves.
Story cited here.
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