NHL Player Boycotts His Team's Pride Festivities, Gets Labeled 'Homophobic'

Ivan Provorov, a defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers, faced criticism for his choice to not participate in the team's Pride night event in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Provorov did not take part in the team's pregame warmups during their Pride night event, where the team wore special jerseys and used sticks adorned with rainbow Pride tape. He cited his adherence to the Russian Orthodox religion as the reason for his absence during the warmups. Despite this, he did play in the game against the Anaheim Ducks.

"I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices," he said to reporters after the game. "My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say."

The Russia-born Ivan Provorov, who is currently in his seventh season with the Philadelphia Flyers, faced criticism on social media for his decision to boycott the team's Pride night event.

Flyers coach John Tortorella explained the situation after the game.

"I think the organization has sent out a release regarding the beliefs that we have," he said, per Philly Hockey Now. "It was really a great night. 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."

John Tortorella believed it would be unjust to bench Ivan Provorov for his religious beliefs.

"I just think it’s unfair. I know you are probably going to talk to Provy," he said. "I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. I think it was a great night, and I’m not going to get too deep into the conversation."

Recently, the National Hockey League (NHL) has received criticism. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed his disapproval towards the organization for what he perceives as discrimination, citing an incident where the league promoted a job fair that was only open to select groups of individuals.

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