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NHL Network analyst E.J. Hradek had some strong words for Ivan Provorov after the Philadelphia Flyers defenseman opted not to participate in the team’s Pride Night activities due to his religious beliefs.
While he didn’t participate in warm-ups, Provorov was still in the Flyers’ lineup for their 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Provorov’s decision to not wear the jersey with ”Pride” colors and the Flyers’ decision to keep him in the lineup drew vitriol from some on the woke left.
Hradek shared his take on the situation on Wednesday’s edition of the NHL Network program NHL Now.
In it, he suggests that Provorov — who is Russian — should return to his home country if he doesn’t want to participate in such activities.
“Ivan Provorov can get on a plane any day he wants and go back to a place where he feels more comfortable, take less money, and get on with his life that way if it’s that problematic for him,” Hradek said.
Hradek pointed out that while Provorov is Russian he has been in North America for quite a few years having played junior hockey in the Western Hockey League and is in his seventh season in Philadelphia.
“If this is that much of a problem for him to maybe assimilate into his group of teammates and in the community and here in this country; that’s okay,” he said. “Listen you can feel any way you want, but the beauty is, if it bothers you that much, there’s always a chance to leave.”
“Go back where you feel more comfortable. I understand there’s a conflict going on over there; maybe get involved.”
That last line was a reference to the ongoing war in between Russia and Ukraine. Which seems to mean Hradek believes the consequences of Provorov’s religious views should be him joining the Russian military and killing Ukranians, at least until the Ukranians kill him.
OutKick has reached out to the National Hockey League for comment on Hradek’s statements but has yet to hear back.
The league released a statement regarding Provorov’s decision not to wear the Pride Night jersey. That statement discussed the league’s “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiatives and how those are largely left up to the teams.
Their statement also said that “Players are free to decide which initiatives to support, and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues.”
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