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McDavid: Oilers 'strongly believe hockey is for everyone'

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

Connor McDavid made it clear the Edmonton Oilers are in full support of Pride night leading up to their festivities on Saturday.

Pride warmup jerseys have been a hot-button topic lately, as players and teams across the league have opted against donning the uniforms. The Oilers have never worn Pride jerseys and won't Saturday, but the MVP favorite is adamant his club is an LGBTQ+ ally.

"Certainly can't comment on other players and their beliefs, and other organizations and what they're up to," McDavid said, per Sportsnet. "I know here in Edmonton, we strongly believe hockey is for everyone and strongly support Pride night. Looking forward to it."

He added: "I think we were the first team to use Pride tape in warmup. We're firm believers, obviously, in the celebration that is Pride night."

Oilers forward Zach Hyman echoed McDavid's sentiments about Edmonton's stance.

"Everybody has their own personal opinion. To me, it's an obvious no-brainer," Hyman said. "If I was in that position, I'd wear one. It doesn't go against any of my beliefs, it's probably on the contrary. I think it's extremely important to be open and welcoming to that greater community because they're a minority, and they've faced a lot of persecution over the years.

"To show that we care and that we're willing and ready to include them in our game, in our sport, is extremely important to me. It's a hard question because people have their own personal beliefs, I just don't agree with them."

In January, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear a Pride jersey in warmup due to his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs. Since then, the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks scrapped plans to wear the rainbow-colored uniforms. The Blackhawks said they changed plans out of security concerns for their Russian players.

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer and Florida Panthers players Marc and Eric Staal skipped wearing the jerseys over the past week due to their Christian faith.

McDavid: Oilers 'strongly believe hockey is for everyone'
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