Minnesota Wild goalie barred from wearing Native American Heritage Night mask during warmups


The Minnesota Wild are holding a Native American Heritage Night on Friday, so goalie Marc-Andre Fleury wanted to honor his wife’s indigenous background.

So, he had a mask designed to acknowledge his wife, but the NHL is disallowing him to wear it.

The NHL announced in June that in order to avoid any “distraction,” themed jerseys and equipment will no longer be worn on the ice. The stance stemmed from when several players and some teams (including the Wild) opted not to wear LGBTQ-themed jerseys during warm-ups on their respective Pride Nights.

However, commissioner Gary Bettman said the ban would be in effect for all theme nights.

Fleury had a member of the Prairie Island Indian Community design the mask, according to The Athletic, who said he was “bummed” that he could not wear it.

The goalie originally planned to wear it and take any punishment, says his agent, Allan Walsh, but he backtracked when the league threatened a more significant penalty.

Bettman said he made his decision on the jerseys in order to keep “the focus on the game.”

“I suggested that it would be appropriate for clubs not to change their jerseys in warm-ups, because it’s become a distraction and taking away from the fact that all of our clubs in some form or another host nights in honor of various groups or causes, and we’d rather them continue to get the appropriate attention that they deserve and not be a distraction,” Bettman told SportsNet at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in June.

Marc-Andre Fleury makes save


Bettman even said that theme nights will still occur, jerseys will be sold and designed, and players could even “model them” if they choose.

“It’s really just a question of what’s on the ice,” Bettman said.

The Rangers and Blackhawks also opted not to wear pride jerseys despite previously advertising that they would, a phenomenon that was brought upon by Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers. The defenseman said he would not wear a Pride jersey, citing his Russian Orthodox religion.

Marc-Andre Fleury sprays water

The NHL reversed its ban on Pride-themed tape last month.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.

Read the full article here


Share post:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.


More like this