Looking back at the times, Milwaukee President Adm. John Greenberg was curious what he might hear about Tuesday night.
At least two National Hockey League teams have had problems with Pride Night celebrations in recent weeks, and several states are considering tightening restrictions on drag shows. The team was about to get both.
“Every year we’ve done this, yeah, there’s been people who are unhappy that we’re doing this kind of thing and for those people we always say, ‘It’s a one-night stand during the season and if it’s a night you choose not to go out, then so be it,’” Greenberg said. “Some people choose not to go out. Go out for other things.
“We don’t necessarily look at this as a political thing at all.”
In the end, Greenberg said, the positive response outweighed the negative calls and social media posts as has been the case in the past.
“We’re big on Hockey for everyone something, whether it’s disabilities, whether it’s a pride community, whether it’s women in sports,” Greenberg said, referring to the NHL’s inclusivity The initiative was launched 25 years ago and has grown significantly In the last years. “All the different things are part of making our game more accessible to people.
“The crowd here tonight seems to really appreciate it, the people who bought the tickets,” Greenberg continued. “Tonight I saw people we wouldn’t normally see during the season, so we’re exposing our product to a new audience, an expanded audience, so that’s important to us.”
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Other hockey-themed nights celebrated black history and Aboriginal heritage or those from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The Admirals were having a Spanish Heritage night in October.
The Milwaukee Bucks held Pride Night on January 25thand the Milwaukee Brewers have one annually since 2018, although a 2023 date has not been set.
How the Admirals in Milwaukee celebrated Pride Night
Aside from the logos on the scoreboard and some bonus merchandise in the gift shop, Tuesday night’s Pride celebration at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena was relatively low key.
The Admirals used a rainbow-patterned stripe on their sticks in their warm-ups, but playing time ended when the players reverted to the familiar black. The ceremonial puck was brought down by Charlie Nash, founder of the company Cream City Foundationis a fundraising and philanthropic organization that addresses LGBTQ+ issues.
The crowd was 2,495 that greeted a2-1 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins It was about what Greenberg expected. The team was coming off a solid two-game weekend and was going head-to-head with the Bucks playing a block away at the Fiserv Forum.
About 150 people stopped by after the match to sing while three drag queens danced and lip-synced near the bar on the lower level of the arena.
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Dana Spandit and a group of friends and co-workers were from Flour Girl & Flame, a pizza shop in West Allis that she owned.
“I think it’s a really big thing for us in the LGBT community to see ourselves represented and celebrated on a larger scale,” said Spandit. “So something like this is significant and noteworthy.”
Pride Nights have become routine across hockey, with some NHL teams once a year donning jerseys with rainbow-colored numbers, lettering, and accents—usually later sold at a charity auction—and featuring members of the LGBTQ+ community in pre-game festivities.
Actions other NHL teams do, Pride Night players channel the heat
Pride Night’s two recent NHL campaigns haven’t gone as smoothly as hoped.
In Philadelphia, Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov sat out the warm-up prior to the team’s January 17 game against the Anaheim Ducks instead of wearing a Pride jacket. Provorov cited his Russian Orthodox faith and said after the match that he “respected everyone’s choices”. Coach John Tortorella expressed support for Provorov’s decision.
The player, coach and team have come under some criticism online, though Brian Kitts, co-founder of You Can Play, an official NHL partner who advocates for LGBTQ+ inclusion, has done so. Interview with Front Office Sports Where he asked for “a little grace” and understanding towards Provorov.
Then on Friday, the members of the New York Rangers were donning custom vests and twirling a rainbow baton to warm up before their game with the Vegas Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden. While other Pride Knight activities continued, the tops and ribbon were canceled with no real explanation from the team. Steve Buckley, a columnist for The Athletic who is openly gay, The organization and the NHL took over To send the message that gay gamers are 100% not welcome.
Luke Prokop, the first openly gay player under contract with the NHL organization, was at the Admirals training camp last fall before being sent off to play another junior season in the Western Hockey League. Prokop was a third-round pick by the Nashville Predators, the Admirals’ parent club in the NHL, in the 2020 draft.
“He’s not here as a gay hockey player; he’s here as a gay hockey player,” Greenberg said. Go out and do it.”
at the time Studies show an increase in hatred and threats towards the LGBTQ+ communitySpandet, the restaurant’s owner, said she and her friends enjoyed the atmosphere at Tuesday night’s game.
“I think Milwaukee is a really inclusive city, and that’s a perfect atmosphere and environment to have that in. Milwaukee has the right vibe,” said Spandit, who added that she attends Admirals games occasionally. “We are all inclusive, we are small. … We are all of it.”
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