Kudos to the NHL for promoting tolerance through its designated Pride Night. However, we must be cautious about going a bridge too far and forcing players to wear rainbow pride uniforms if they would prefer to just play hockey and stay out of politics.
Supporting a player who on his own time wants to promote diversity and inclusion is just fine. (Think Bill Russell and Jim Brown in the sixties.) But punishing a player either through benching, fines or canceling that individual in the corporate world is delving into Orwellian “groupthink” territory.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) now scores their citizens by what they say, what they post, who they associate with, where they go, etc. Say or do things that the CCP supports and you will be rated with a high score. Do or say anything that is contrary to the party narrative and you will be assigned a low score, which can be devastating to your career and possibly put you in prison.
Is that where we want to go in this nation?
When answering questions as to why he was reluctant to enter into politics, Michael Jordan famously commented: “Republicans buy sneakers, too.”
Others, such as LeBron James, want to be politically active. That’s their right. But it’s equally Jordan‘s right to not be forced to be political. Just as it was the right for Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov to choose not to wear a pride jersey and stay out of politics altogether.
Most attendees at sporting events want to get away from the division of politics. In fact, they went to the event because it was once an oasis from the red and blue debates. Liberals and conservatives were able to unite behind their home teams. Today, politics consumes our sporting venues.
We at Long Island Life and Politics are glad to see efforts to fight discrimination against all people, the gay community included. Everyone should be supportive in speaking out.
Fox commentator Guy Benson, who is gay himself, stated that he is opposed to forced compliance because, if it’s not coming from the heart, it loses its impact.
So, instead of trying to force people to say and do things they aren’t inclined to do or say, let’s instead try to educate them as to why we think our side is the correct one.