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.
But Provorov obviously does not respect “everyone”. If he did respect everyone, he would have taken part in warm-up and worn the Pride Night jersey. Don’t hide behind religion. https://t.co/Qk6dTgAnmP
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 18, 2023
1. Ivan Provorov had the right to refuse to participate in the Pride Night activities in Philadelphia.
2. The Flyers should have responded by not allowing him to play in the game.
3. Freedom of expression doesn’t give you freedom from the consequences of your words or actions. https://t.co/9fdffAQk1N
— Gord Miller 🌻 (@GMillerTSN) January 18, 2023
Being LGBT+ is not a "choice." Being ignorant, obnoxious, and homophobic is a choice.
Ivan Provorov wasn't wearing uniform tonight and the @NHLFlyers should not have let him play. Stop letting bigots hide behind their cherry-picked religion. Do better. https://t.co/WTnqibGsXj
— Rachael Millanta (@rachaelmillanta) January 18, 2023
Of course, Ivan Provorov is more than happy to play pregame dress-up when it does align with his belief system. pic.twitter.com/rOG0uoCsf4
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) January 18, 2023
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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