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Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Ivan Provorov decided not to “wear the ribbon.” So now he’s getting pummeled for his decision.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s game between the Flyers and Anaheim Ducks, reports surfaced that Provorov refused to participate in the warm-up skate due to the team’s commitment to wearing LGBT-themed jerseys in celebration of Pride Night. Provorov was the only Flyers player that did not participate in the warm-ups.
While most fans don’t give a rip about sexuality during a hockey game, the media certainly did its best to make it solely about Pride night.
After the Flyers’ 5-2 win over the Ducks, Philly coach John Tortorella addressed Provorov’s absence during warm-ups. He supported his player in taking a stance according to his religious beliefs.
“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and to his religion. This has to do with his belief and his religion. That’s one thing I respect about Provy: he’s always true to himself.” Tortorella said.
Provorov discussed his decision after the game.
“I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”
The Flyers released a statement on their scheduled Pride event.
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community,” a Flyers spokesman said. “Many of our players are active in their support of local LGBTQ+ organizations, and we were proud to host our annual Pride Night again this year. The Flyers will continue to be strong advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community.”
Since Provorov opted to stand for his religious beliefs rather than abiding by the team’s Pride event, the Russian player was on the receiving end of endless online criticism, with some upset at the team for allowing him to participate in Tuesday’s game.
So much for tolerance.