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As Sabres prepare to celebrate Pride night, some NHL players voice objections

The Sabres will host their own Pride Night on Monday at KeyBank Center.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The president of Niagara Pride, Ronald Piaseczny, is disappointed with the NHL. 

"To hear that teams are opting out and not having it hurts," Ronald says. He continues, "Even though the NHL is coming out and saying that they want to promote diversity and inclusivity when you have teams not participating in something  like pride night, it's really difficult to continue sharing that message."

The message he's talking about is You Can Play Project, meaning no matter who you prefer to love, you're not discriminated against from the sport. 

"Once you break barriers and see advances in sports, to take that back seems like a step backward. Organizations talk about wanting to be more diverse and have more inclusivity. You want to find that balance," Ronald says. 

He says when openly gay athletes were allowed to play professionally in 2013, it was supported. Then players started objecting to wearing the rainbow flag during pregame workouts, similar to what we saw Thursday night from players Eric and Marc Staal with the Florida Panthers.

There was backlash. In return, they put out a statement on social media.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks did the same thing but with the entire team. In their defense, a few Russian players cited an anti-gay law for not wearing the jerseys; others used religion as their reason.

The Sabres are set to host their own Pride event Monday.

"When you sign up for an organization, a lot of times you will see where the organization is going or what stances they're making. On the flipside, it is nice to know that the Buffalo Sabres are going to have theirs here in Buffalo, and we're excited to be a part of it Monday night," Ronald said.


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