Last Updated on January 18, 2023
An NHL player sparked backlash after he refused to wear an LGBT-themed jersey during warmups on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov decided not to participate in the team’s warmups against the Anaheim Ducks. The Flyers were holding a Pride Night and players were expected to wear a Pride Night jersey and use hockey sticks wrapped with rainbow, LGBT-themed tape.
Following the game, Provorov told reporters he chose not to support the Pride Night theme because of his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs.
“I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” the Flyers defenseman said.
Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear a rainbow jersey for warm ups during Pride night stating his Russian Orthodox faith.
“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”pic.twitter.com/YorVLBbcwY
— OutKick (@Outkick) January 18, 2023
The Flyers coach, John Tortorella, also told reporters Provorov was just “being true to himself and his religion.”
“This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy is he is always true to himself,” Tortorella added.
Torts says Provy didn’t take warmups because he was against Pride Night. He didn’t consider benching him. #Flyers pic.twitter.com/UlWUwQkuf9
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) January 18, 2023
Social media users and members of the LGBTQ community were infuriated by the Flyers player’s actions.
The Athletic’s hockey reporter, Pierre LeBrun, contested that Provorov is just hiding behind religion and lied about respecting LGBTQ people.
“But Provorov obviously does not respect “everyone”. If he did respect everyone, he would have taken part in warm-up and worn the Pride Night jersey. Don’t hide behind religion,” LeBrun posted to Twitter.
But Provorov obviously does not respect “everyone”. If he did respect everyone, he would have taken part in warm-up and worn the Pride Night jersey. Don’t hide behind religion. https://t.co/Qk6dTgAnmP
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 18, 2023
Gord Miller, a hockey commentator, said the Flyers should have benched Provorov.
1. Ivan Provorov had the right to refuse to participate in the Pride Night activities in Philadelphia.
2. The Flyers should have responded by not allowing him to play in the game.
3. Freedom of expression doesn’t give you freedom from the consequences of your words or actions. https://t.co/9fdffAQk1N
— Gord Miller 🌻 (@GMillerTSN) January 18, 2023
Dean Blundell, a Canadian radio host, called in the NHL player to move to Russia and fight for Putin if he really wants to stay true to his beliefs. “If Ivan Provorov is that committed to a genocidal, hateful Russian Orthodox ideology, he should join Putin’s army in their death trenches. That’s where the fight is. Not in hockey rinks,” Blundell tweeted.
The Flyers released this statement following the controversy:
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community. Many of our players are active in their support of local LGBTQ+ organizations, and we were proud to host our annual Pride Night again this year. The Flyers will continue to be strong advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community.”
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.
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