Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov confronted backlash for his determination to boycott the group’s Pride night time to assist the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.
Provorov didn’t take part in pregame warmups when the workforce wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape. He cited his Russian Orthodox faith as the rationale why he didn’t take part. He ultimately performed within the sport towards the Anaheim Ducks.
“I respect all people and I respect all people’s selections,” he advised reporters after the sport. “My selection is to remain true to myself and my faith. That’s all I’m going to say.”
The Russia native, who’s in his seventh season with the Flyers, obtained backlash on social media for the boycott.
Flyers coach John Tortorella defined the state of affairs after the sport.
“I believe the group has despatched out a launch relating to the beliefs that now we have,” he mentioned, by way of Philly Hockey Now. “It was actually an important night time. With Provy, he’s being true to himself and to his faith. This has to do along with his beliefs and his faith. That is one factor I respect about Provy, he’s all the time true to himself, in order that’s the place we’re at with that.”
Tortorella thought it might be “unfair” to bench him for his beliefs.
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“I simply assume it’s unfair. I do know you might be in all probability going to speak to Provy,” he mentioned. “I’m not going to spend so much of time on it. I believe it was an important night time, and I’m not going to get too deep into the dialog.”
The Flyers didn’t point out Provorov’s beliefs of their assertion.
“The Philadelphia Flyers group is dedicated to inclusivity and is proud to assist the LGBTQ+ neighborhood,” the workforce mentioned. “Many of our gamers are lively of their assist of native LGBTQ+ organizations, and we have been proud to host out annual Pride Night once more this 12 months. The Flyers will proceed to be sturdy advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.”
The NHL has come beneath fireplace in latest weeks. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis scolded the group for alleged discrimination when it promoted a job truthful that solely allowed sure teams of individuals to attend.
The league additionally needed to push again on criticism from social media for internet hosting a transgender and nonbinary hockey event.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.