Ivan Provorov refuses to wear Flyers’ Pride Night jersey


Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov skipped his team’s pregame skate Tuesday night, citing his religious beliefs as the reason he refused to wear the team’s “LGBTQ+ Pride Night” warmup jersey.

“I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choices,” Provorov said after the Flyers beat the Anaheim Ducks, 5-2. “But my choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.” Provorov identified his religion as Russian Orthodox.

For the pregame skate, the Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys displaying names and numbers in rainbow colors and wrapped their sticks in rainbow tape. The jerseys and sticks will be auctioned off, with proceeds going toward promoting diversity in hockey.

“He’s being true to himself and to his religion,” Coach John Tortorella told reporters. “This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy — he’s always true to himself.”

Asked if he considered benching Provorov, who played a game-high 22 minutes 45 seconds, Tortorella replied, “No, no.”

The Flyers released a statement saying they are “committed to inclusivity and … 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.”

In March, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church cited gay pride parades as a reason for the war in Ukraine. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said: “Today there is a test for the loyalty to this new world order, a kind of pass to that ‘happy’ world, the world of excess consumption, the world of false ‘freedom.’ Do you know what this test is? The test is very simple and at the same time terrible — it is the gay pride parade.”

After the game, the Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton met with the game’s guest of honor, 13-year-old nonbinary hockey player Trin Stephens, and Stephens’s family. They met Stephens in November through an LGBTQ+ nonprofit organization they work with.

“It’s super amazing because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have, being an LGBTQ youth doing this,” Stephens told NHL.com. “I would totally love for people to be included in sports and be themselves and not have to hide it from the world.”

Laughton said there would be more conversations with Provorov.

“I don’t hold anything against anyone,” Laughton told the Associated Press. “It’s nothing like that. It was an awesome night, and I’m very happy we got a win on a night like this.”

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *