Earlier this month, the NHL announced that teams and players could not longer wear the special Pride-themed warmup jerseys – or any other special warmup jerseys, for that matter – after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman claimed they caused a “distraction.” But Tampa Bay Lighting captain Steven Stamkos is not a fan of that plan.
Stamkos made it clear that he does not think the NHL should have banned the special warmup uniforms, pointing out that the vast majority of the players enjoyed wearing them.
“It was 98 percent or 99 percent of other players that wore the jersey and enjoyed wearing it and were proud wearing it — whatever jersey it was — whether it was the Pride, the military night, the cancer nights,” Stamkos said according to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN. “The story shouldn’t be about the guy that didn’t wear it — the one guy or the two guys.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 27, 2023
Stamkos makes it clear that he thinks the special warmup jerseys could have and should have continued and been a “non-issue.”
“I understand that’s what gets the clicks and that’s what gets the views, but the word ‘distraction’ gets thrown around. I don’t think it had to have been a distraction. It could have been a non-issue while focusing on the good that was coming out of those nights.”