The National Hockey League (NHL) has backtracked on the participation requirements of a job fair it is hosting in Florida after Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office slammed the event as “discriminatory.”
The league is set to host the “Pathway to Hockey Summit” job fair event on February 2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the NHL All-Star Game will take place two days later in nearby Sunrise, Florida.
However, one week ago, the league shared a now-deleted LinkedIn post promoting the event but specified participation was only open to certain groups of people.
The requirements read:
Participants must be 18 years of age or older, based in the U.S., and identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and/or a person with a disability. Veterans are also welcome and encouraged to attend.
In response to the event’s participation requirements, DeSantis’s press secretary Bryan Griffin released a scathing statement calling the event “discriminatory.”
The response read:
Discrimination of any sort is not welcome in the state of Florida, and we do not abide by the woke notion that discrimination should be overlooked if applied in a politically popular manner or against a politically unpopular demographic. We are fighting all discrimination in our schools and our workplaces, and we will fight it in publicly accessible places of meeting or activity.
DeSantis’s office then called for the NHL to “immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed on attendance to the 2023 ‘Pathway to Hockey’ summit.”
NEW – @GovRonDeSantis spox issues statement condemning NHL for hosting summit where participants must .. “identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino ..”
“Discrimination of any sort is not welcome in the state of Florida,” says spox @BryanDGriffin
— MAHSA SAEIDI, ESQ.🕵🏼 مهسا (@MahsaWho) January 14, 2023
The league has since backtracked, claiming the “original wording to the LinkedIn post associated with the event was not accurate,” an NHL spokesperson told Fox News.
“The Pathway to Hockey Summit is an informational and networking event designed to encourage all individuals to consider a career in our game – and, in particular, alert those who might not be familiar with hockey to the opportunities it offers,” the spokesperson said.
Fox News noted that the league has since removed the post from LinkedIn and said the job fair is open to anyone 18 years old or older.
The backtracking of the controversial eligibility requirements comes after the NHL released a diversity and inclusion report in October, which declared a commitment to implement hiring practices related to “racial demographics,” “gender identity,” and “sexual orientation,” Breitbart News reported.
The following month, the NHL signaled its support for a “transgender and nonbinary” hockey tournament in Wisconsin. The league then tweeted, “Trans Women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real,” in response to a Twitter user who questioned whether men would play on a women’s team at the tournament.
However, during a tournament game, a transgender male-to-female player seriously injured a transgender female-to-male player after delivering an open-ice hit. The injured player reportedly suffered a concussion.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.