At Pride Night, some Chicago Blackhawks fans were upset about the lack of jerseys, while others were glad event still happened

Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

CHICAGO — Christina Danczyk brought girlfriend Beth Reyes to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Pride Night game Sunday as a birthday gift.

Reyes, a 40-year-old Joliet-area resident, was well aware of recent backlash the Hawks received for backing out of players wearing pride-themed warmup jerseys and the debate over whether NHL teams should host pride celebrations at all.

“Everyone’s entitled, their own opinions about things,” she said. “I thought it was really great the NHL was continuing to have Pride Night for most of the teams, especially with the players that didn’t want to participate.

“With what’s going on in Chicago, I’m glad that they’re still doing Pride Night. It’s nice that they’re going to protect (the Russian players), even if that’s what the real reason is or not.”

The Hawks cited Russia’s recent legal crackdown on “gay propaganda,” and team officials reiterated Sunday that there’s legitimate concern for putting their Russian players — and their families — in conflict with anti-gay factions in the Russian government, including President Vladimir Putin.

The Hawks lost to the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 on Sunday at the United Center, their 5th straight defeat.


Michael Garcia came to Pride Night with girlfriend Alexandria Radovics to watch hockey, “pay $15 for beer” and support the LGBTQ+ community.

Pride Nights around the NHL have come under scrutiny in the last week.

The Hawks and New York Rangers canceled plans to have players wear rainbow-themed jerseys during warmups. San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov opted out of wearing pride jerseys, citing religious beliefs.

Reimer, who boycotted warmups on the Sharks Pride Night earlier this month, said in a statement that participating would conflict with his Christian faith: “For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian — not just in title but in how I choose to live my daily. ... I have no hate in my heart for anyone and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness.”


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