NHL player refuses to participate in his team’s pro-LGBTQ+ messaging

According to Fox News, a National Hockey League (NHL) player is facing a lot of criticism for refusing to participate in his team’s pro-LGBTQ+ activities on the grounds that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. 

That player is Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers.

What happened?

It has become a common practice for professional sports teams to show support for the LGBTQ+ community by hosting “Pride” events. The Flyers hosted such an event on Tuesday, the night of their game with the Anaheim Ducks.

During the pregame warmup, Flyers players could be seen wearing “Pride” jerseys, and they put “Pride” tape on their sticks, using the colors of the rainbow, which is a symbol that has become synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community.

While most members of the Flyers organization participated in these activities, Provorov didn’t. Instead, he chose to sit out the Pride-themed pregame warmup.

“True to myself and my religion”

Provorov, a defenseman, did, however, go on to participate in the game versus the Ducks. And, after the game, he explained why he chose not to participate in the team’s “Pride” activities.

“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices,” he told reporters. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.”

It is being reported that Provorov, a Russian native, is an Orthodox Christian.

Provorov has garnered a lot of criticism on social media for his refusal to participate in the Flyer’s “Pride Night.” The criticism essentially amounted to social media users calling Provorov “homophobic.”

Provorov, however, did not face criticism from his team – at least not publicly – which is evidenced by the fact that he was allowed to play in the game versus the Ducks.

“That is one thing I respect”

After the game, John Tortorella was asked about the situation with Provorov, including whether or not he considered benching him for not participating in “Pride Night.”

After saying “it was really a great night,” Tortorella said:

With Provy, he is being true to himself and to his religion. This has to do with his beliefs and his religion. That is one thing I respect about Provy, he is always true to himself, so that’s where we’re at with that.

Accordingly, Tortorella said that, in his opinion, it would have been “unfair” to bench Provorov for his actions.

The Flyers organization itself has not commented on the matter. Rather, it has only released a general statement saying that it ” is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the local LGBTQ+ community.”

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