Ron DeSantis flings 'anti-woke' card at the National Hockey League
Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown raises his hand during the national anthem (Screen cap).

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis aimed a slapshot at the National Hockey League yesterday with a display of outrage over its plans to hold a South Florida summit promoting careers to members of “underrepresented communities.”

The NHL is holding a career summit called Pathway to Hockey on February 2 in Fort Lauderdale. It stipulates that “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.”

That was enough to cause DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin to spring into action by turning to conservative media with this bit of indignation on behalf of his boss.

“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,” Griffin said. “We are fighting all discrimination in our schools and our workplaces, and we will fight it in publicly accessible places of meeting or activity.

“We call upon the National Hockey League to immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed on attendance to the 2023 ‘Pathway to Hockey’ summit.”

Although there was nothing stated in the NHL’s promotional material banning anyone in particular from attendance, there was this language reported at Yahoo Entertainment that was certain to set off some MAGA meters:

“’This half-day event will feature guest speakers, panels, and networking opportunities to those who identify as’ one of the mentioned ‘underrepresented communities,’ the NHL notes.”

Last October, the NHL released its first-ever comprehensive diversity and inclusion study, ESPN reported. Among its findings: “83.6% of employees across the NHL and its teams are white, 4.17% Asian, 3.74% Black, 3.71% Hispanic/Latino and 0.5% Indigenous, while 2.48% of employees opted not to answer. And “According to the report, 93.14% of the NHL's workforce identifies as straight or heterosexual, 1.52% as bisexual, 1.12% as gay and 0.81% as lesbian.”