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Ron DeSantis’ administration rages over NHL’s diversity effort

Ron DeSantis’ administration rages over NHL’s diversity effort
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The Ron DeSantis administration “celebrated” the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend in fitting fashion for Florida’s governor: whining about diversity efforts. 

It may have flown under your radar as you were prepping for a long weekend, but on Friday, DeSantis’ office zeroed in on a new culprit in the anti-white culture war: the National Hockey League. 

No, seriously. 

DeSantis’ office was made aware of a diversity program the NHL runs to draw job talent from outside of its workforce, which is disproportionately white and male. DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin said the upcoming Pathway to Hockey Summit, which is set to take place in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 2 during the NHL’s All-Star Game festivities, amounts to discrimination.

DeSantis’ office zeroed in on a new culprit in the anti-white culture war: the National Hockey League.

Why? Because in a LinkedIn post, the NHL marketed the event specifically to people who are women, veterans, Black, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQ or disabled. 

“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 in a statement released Friday. He added: “We are fighting all discrimination in our schools and our workplaces, and we will fight it in publicly accessible places of meeting or activity.”

According to Fox News, the NHL deleted its post from LinkedIn on Friday night, with a league spokesperson saying the Pathway to Hockey Summit is open to anyone 18 and older. The NHL has since published a new post about the event.

Griffin’s statement is a tortured way of saying DeSantis stands with civilian white dudes, who aren’t included in the NHL’s diversity effort for a seemingly obvious reason.

Last fall, the NHL released its first report on diversity and inclusion, which found that its workforce, excluding players, is about 84% white and more than 61% male. The report found that 93% of the NHL workforce identifies as straight or heterosexual, showing a severe lack of LGBTQ representation. But the response from DeSantis’ press secretary is reflective of the governor’s belief that efforts to thwart discrimination are, themselves, discriminatory

DeSantis is dead set on hammering Florida into a right-wing dystopia, no matter how unpopular the policies are.

Griffin is right about one thing: His boss has portrayed diversity efforts — or mere discussions of inequality —  as unlawful, whether they occur in the classroom or the boardroom. The governor’s obsession with targeting Disney over the company’s support for LGBTQ people is a prime example of this. 

That said, I should note: We have evidence that this tactic is deeply unpopular with voters. A Morning Consult poll released this month found that more than 70% of people who voted in the midterms “do not think politicians should punish companies that speak out against discrimination.”

But DeSantis is dead set on hammering Florida into a right-wing dystopia, no matter how unpopular the policies are. And he’s willing to undermine every right or routine necessary to make that so.





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