Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov didn’t take the pregame skate on Tuesday evening as a result of he refused to put on the staff’s LGBTQ+ Pride Night warmup jersey, citing his non secular beliefs.
Provorov, 26, instructed reporters after the Flyers’ 5-2 residence win over the Anaheim Ducks that it was his alternative “to remain true to myself and my religion,” which he recognized as Russian Orthodox.
“I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s decisions,” he stated.
Before the sport, the Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow tape, each of that are being auctioned off by Flyers Charities with proceeds going in direction of their efforts to develop the sport in various communities.
Provorov was the one Flyers participant who did not have a jersey or a stick up for public sale after the sport.
The Flyers launched a press release earlier than Provorov’s postgame feedback:
“The Philadelphia Flyers group is dedicated to inclusivity and is proud to assist the LGBTQ+ group. Many of our gamers are energetic of their assist of native LGBTQ+ organizations, and we have been proud to host our annual Pride Night once more this 12 months. The Flyers will proceed to be robust advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ group.”
The NHL didn’t launch a press release on the matter as of Tuesday evening.
Flyers coach John Tortorella stated he didn’t ponder scratching Provorov for not taking warmups.
“With Provy, he is being true to himself and to his religion,” the first-year Flyers coach stated. “This has to do together with his perception and his religion. It’s one factor I respect about Provy: He’s all the time true to himself. That’s the place we’re at with that.”
Tortorella has made headlines earlier than about his stance on pregame protests. In 2016, he stated that any of his gamers who didn’t stand for the nationwide anthem can be benched for the remainder of the sport. He reversed that stance after watching the racial injustice protests in 2020, saying he would not punish gamers who protested earlier than a sport.
“I might hope that if one in all my gamers needed to protest in the course of the anthem, he would carry it to me and we’d discuss it, inform me his ideas and what he needed to do. From there, we might carry it to the staff to debate it, very similar to it is being mentioned in our nation proper now,” Tortorella instructed The Athletic then.
Messages to You Can Play, a social activism marketing campaign that has partnered with the NHL since 2013, and the Philadelphia Falcons, an LGBTQ+ soccer program that was an invited visitor of the Flyers on the sport, weren’t returned.
Pride occasions are a part of the year-round “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiative from the NHL and the NHLPA.
“For greater than a decade the NHL has been growing its efforts to point out its year-round assist on and off the ice for the LGBTQ+ group,” stated Kim Davis, NHL senior govt vice chairman, throughout Pride Month in 2022.
The Flyers have supported the LGBTQ+ group for years. Their mascot, Gritty, has famously taken half within the Philadelphia Pride parade.