‘True To Myself And My Religion’: NHL Player Ivan Provorov Refused to Take Part in Team's 'Pride' Recognition

‘True To Myself And My Religion’: NHL Player Ivan Provorov Refused to Take Part in Team's 'Pride' Recognition

NHL star Ivan Provorov isn’t about to be pressured into doing something against his will or his belief system, as he demonstrated this week when he refused to take part in observing “Pride Night” during warm-ups ahead of a game.

The Philadelphia Flyers standout cited his Christian religion for refusing to take part in a show of support for the “LGBTQ+ community.” A pregame skate included players donning Pride-themed jerseys displaying their names in rainbow colors while holding hockey sticks that were wrapped in rainbow-colored tape before a home game against the Anaheim Ducks.

“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” Provorov told reporters following the game, adding that his religion is Russian Orthodox while explaining no further.

At another point, Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Provorov’s decision to do what he chose to do and hold true to his own personal convictions — which is about as American as it gets.

“He’s being true to himself and to his religion. … It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself,” Tortorella said.

A reporter went on to ask Tortorella if he considered benching the defenseman over his choice, to which he replied that he did not before moving beyond the subject.

The Flyers beat the Ducks 5-2.

Naturally, the left-wing sports media ripped Provorov for his decision.

“Ivan Provorov was allowed to play in a game for the Philadelphia Flyers – the organization that was the first to say that you will be removed from the arena if you utter a homophobic slur – after refusing to wear a Pride logo for warm ups,” SB Nation NHL Editorial Director Steph Driver tweeted. “What an absolute disgrace.”

So — would Driver be so willing to defend, say, “two-parent family night?” How about “respect for law enforcement night?” Or any special event observing a traditional value? You know the answer to that.

Other users took Driver to task for her intolerance.

What we also learned about Driver is that her coverage of the sport is biased, obviously.


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