Former National Hockey League superstar PK Subban has voiced his opinion on the growing trend of pushing athletes into activism roles, stating that players should not be forced to take part. In a recent interview with Reuters, Subban shared his thoughts on the matter, emphasizing the importance of respecting individual choices.
Subban, a long-time advocate for inclusivity and equality, addressed the issue of players being expected to wear Pride jerseys as part of the league's efforts to promote diversity and acceptance. He argued that while it's essential to support such initiatives, players should be allowed to make their own decisions without facing pressure or judgment.
“We cannot push everyone to be an activist, we need to be very careful,” Subban told Reuters. “I feel people pick and choose what they want to talk about and I don't like it when we put the onus on athletes to be activists.”
Responding to recent controversy surrounding Pride night jerseys, the three time All-Star said it wasn't about “being right or wrong to wear the jersey, we have just got to be very careful how we push players to do things,” and that “[y]ou can support the LGBTQ community without having to wear a hat, a t-shirt or a jersey.”
Critics argue that a favourite NHL team or player failing to support Pride initiatives could cause LGBTQ hockey fans to feel unwelcome at arenas, a claim Subban dismissed in the interview with Reuters.
The blame, he said, lies with the legacy media.
“The people that write the articles, the people that push certain narratives in the media they have to be held accountable,” Subban said. “There's many players in the league that have started programs — why aren't the media talking about that.”
Despite there being “a lot of positive stories out there,” Subban says “there are people in the media who have the responsibility to do their job a certain way and they don't.”