NEW YORK (PIX11) — The New York Rangers faced criticism Saturday after the team bailed on on a promise to wear Pride-themed jerseys during Friday’s warm up.
The New York Rangers swept the Vegas Golden Knights Friday night, but it was not a victory for those looking for the special jerseys. The Rangers had previously promised fans that players would warm up in jerseys designed by an artist within the NYC LGBTQ+ community for Pride Night on the Friday. They were also supposed to use Pride Tape on their sticks during warm up.
David Kilmnick, who’s with LGBT Network, said the Rangers really messed up by going back on their promise.
“The team showed its true colors by not coming out and wearing Pride jerseys,” Kilmnick said.
The Rangers have worn Pride jerseys in the past, including in the past two years.
When asked what happened this time, the team said in a statement to PIX11, “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. In keeping with our organization’s core values, we support everyone’s individual right to respectfully express their beliefs.”
As for Kilmnick, he says the team has only one way forward.
“They need to take accountability and be honest about what transpired,” Kilmnick said.
He said an apology is also needed.
In a statement, NYC Pride said, in part, “NYC Pride was not made aware in advance of our participation in last night’s ceremonial puck drop that Pride jerseys and rainbow tape would not be worn as advertised. We understand and appreciate that this has been a major disappointment to the LGBTQ+ community in New York and beyond. We are communicating these concerns with NY Rangers and NHL leadership as we continue to discuss the ways these organizations can work toward inclusion.”