Gary Bettman officially receives 'A**hole of the Year Award' for 2023
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Gary Bettman officially receives 'A**hole of the Year Award' for 2023

Put him in the Hall of Fame!



It's hard to believe but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has been on the job now for 30 years.

The former NBA executive was hired by the league back in 1993 and has overseen a complete transformation, for better or worse, of major professional hockey. The league has grown in size and revenue substantially under Bettman, but it hasn't always been a smooth ride. Bettman has been at the forefront of three NHL lockouts and four shortened seasons. He has given the players the right to attend the Olympic Games, then he's taken back those rights.

To put things mildly, he's not the most popular girl at the dance.

Yesterday though, Bettman finally got whats coming to him.

Outsports, a group that covers relevant sports stories for the gay, lesbian, bi and trans communities, have named Bettman as the 2023 'Asshole of the Year.'

More from Outsports:

Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the NHL, is the undisputed Outsports Asshole of the Year, for his assault on the LGBTQ community in 2023.

Bettman oversaw one LGBTQ public relations disaster after another this year, and every step he took on behalf of the NHL made the situation worse.

Things began to unravel in January when then-Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear a rainbow warm-up with the rest of his teammates during Pride Night.

In the wake of one player telling an entire community of fans that their humanity wasn’t worth acknowledging for just 20 minutes, the NHL responded by issuing a statement saying “we continue to encourage [players’] voices on social and cultural issues.”

At a moment when decisive leadership was needed, the NHL’s pablum allowed Provorov’s homophobia to metastasize throughout the league. Soon, entire teams like the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, and Chicago Blackhawks decided to ditch their Pride jerseys altogether, emboldened by Bettman to bend a knee to homophobia.

During All-Star Weekend, Bettman was asked about the rash of open homophobia throughout the NHL. His response was to lecture the LGBTQ community to honor the anti-gay players’ decision to be very publicly homophobic.

By the time the season ended, the NHL’s response to the Pride jerseys mess had turned into a crisis. But Bettman was just getting warmed up.

In mid-June, he announced a bold new strategy for combating hockey’s homophobes: abject capitulation. To avoid more conflicts, Bettman announced that the NHL would be treating Pride jerseys like the 2004-05 season, cancelling them outright.

By now, Bettman had already wrapped up Asshole of the Year, and it wasn’t close. But he still had almost six months left to run up the score, and he chose to take advantage of every minute.

Once the new season began, the league office sent memos to every team expounding on its new policies. Most noteworthy was an edict announcing that the NHL was banning Pride Tape on the ice at all times.

Bettman was declaring war on his own game’s equipment and, make no mistake, the LGBTQ community. It was one of the most insane policies a commissioner of a major sport had ever enacted — especially in response to an act of prejudice.

- Outsports

Congrats, Mr. Bettman on this outstanding achievement! Take a bow!

Source: Outsports