When corporations, organizations, institutions or professions show that they don’t have functioning ethics alarms, it is incumbent upon those of us who do to sound those alarms for them. Loudly. Forcefully. In a timely fashion. That is the only way to preserve and strengthen an ethical culture.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just demonstrated how this is done. Let’s pay attention, shall we?
The National Hockey League, like all of the professional sports keen to pander to what it sees as predominant social trends if it will mean better media coverage, announced that it will hold a job fair called “Pathway to Hockey Summit” on February 2 during its 2023 All Star Game festivities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The idea was to cater to and seeks to attract “diverse job seekers who are pursuing careers in hockey.” Naturally, the whitest of all sports decided that to virtue-signal properly and suck up to the Diversity Equity Inclusion Nazis, that meant that white men need not apply, well, except veterans. They were okay.
“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,” the published event description stated.
Ah, but it was a Florida event, and Florida is governed by a mean, tough, white guy who insists that anyone under his watch must follow the Constitution. That’s Governor Ron DeSantis, whom the mainstream media is recently painting as “worse than Trump.” The governor’s press secretary released a public statement saying,
“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. We are fighting all discrimination in our schools and our workplaces, and we will fight it in publicly accessible places of meeting or activity….[the NHL must] “immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed on attendance to the 2023 ‘Pathway to Hockey’ summit.”
And, of course, the limitations on the event were discrimination, though the kind that progressive revolutionaries, Marxists and Democrats believe is good discrimination—you know, like Harvard’s discrimination against white and Asian-American college applicants. Good, I tell you! But like most pandering businesses, organizations, institutions and professions, the National Hockey League can only move the metaphorical cultural needle in unethical directions if nobody pays attention and the majority of Americans shrug and decide, “Ah, so what? We have bigger problems.” At least, these blights on society and deniers of core American values are only inclined to take the risk if they are sure they can get away with it without paying a substantial price.
And thus it was that, faced with someone who was clearly not about to ignore their unethical conduct or let them get away with it, the National Hockey League immediately backed down. They didn’t even try to defend their discriminatory event. They were only sucking up to bigots for cash and compliments because they thought it would be easy. It’s not as if they thought it was right: the cynical, self-serving, none-too bright people who run the NHL, like the cynical, self-serving none-too bright people who run most things, unfortunately, don’t care about what is right and usually can’t figure out what that is without some forceful guidance anyway.
In a laughably dishonest statement, the NHL has announced that the “original wording of the LinkedIn post associated with the event was not accurate.” “The Pathway to Hockey Summit is an informational and networking event designed to encourage all individuals to consider a career in our game – and, in particular, alert those who might not be familiar with hockey to the opportunities it offers,” the NHL now says, after deleting the original event posting last night. The job fair is open to anyone ages 18 and older.
That’s what they always intended, they say. If you believe that, did you know that hockey pucks taste like licorice?
The United States is in the dangerous cultural state it is now in because the public ignored ethics rot and powerful influences against our nation’s foundational principles in education, politics, journalism, academia, entertainment, and literature while those influences took hold over many decades. We left it to others to deal with, and the others we trusted were weak, apathetic and corrupt themselves. It is a principle of ethics that each of us has a duty to confront and oppose unethical actors when we can. It may be too late, and we may have waited too long.
We’ll never know unless we try, however.