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Provorov declines pre-game pride night skate

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Flyers D Ivan Provorov cites religion for boycott on Pride Night

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/flyers-provorov-declined-to-take-pre-game-skate-with-team-wearing-pride-night-jerseys/

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov cited his Russian Orthodox religion as the reason he did not participate in pregame warmups when the team wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape. 

The 26-year-old Provorov boycotted the pregame skate with his teammates before Tuesday night's game against Anaheim as the Flyers celebrated their annual Pride night in celebration and support of the LGBTQ+ community. He played nearly 23 minutes in Philadelphia's 5-2 victory.

“I respect everybody's choices,” Provorov said after the game. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That's all I'm going to say.”

Provorov declined to answer follow-up questions about his decision.

Flyers coach John Tortorella said Provorov “was true to himself and to his religion.”

“It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself,” Tortorella said.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, leader of Russia’s dominant religious group, sent a strong signal last March justifying his country’s invasion of Ukraine — describing the conflict as part of a struggle against sin and pressure from liberal foreigners to hold “gay parades” as the price of admission to their ranks.

The jerseys and sticks were set to be auctioned off by the Flyers following the game, with proceeds going to the team's charity and its efforts to grow the game of hockey in diverse communities. 

The Flyers also hosted a pregame skate for local LGBTQ+ youth. Flyers players James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton have been staunch supporters of the community and launched a program in support of local LGBTQ+ youth in the greater Philadelphia area. 

Laughton and van Riemsdyk met after the game with about 50 people in the LGBTQ+ community. Laughton said overall the Flyers had a “great, great night that brings a lot of awareness.” 

Laughton said there would be more conversations ahead with Provorov, who moved from Russia to the United States as a teenager. He signed a six-year, $40.5 million contract before the 2019 season and won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers’ outstanding defenseman in his rookie season, the youngest Philadelphia player to receive the honor.

“I don't hold anything against anyone,” Laughton said. “It's nothing like that. It was an awesome night and I'm very happy we got a win on a night like this.”

All-Star forward Kevin Hayes, who had a hat trick in the win over Anaheim, said “it's not for me to answer” when asked how he felt about Provorov's decision.

The Wells Fargo Center was decorated Tuesday night in rainbow hues representing the LGBTQ+ community through special pride-themed arena LEDs, décor and rainbow-themed team merchandise.

“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community," the team said in a statement after the game. "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.”

The NHL also champions the You Can Play Project, which aims to ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. The NHL has never had an openly gay active player.

 

And as reported later:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/nhl-on-provorovs-pride-night-boycott-players-are-free-to-decide-which-initiatives-to-support/

The NHL released a statement Wednesday in response to Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Ivan Provorov's decision to skip warmups on Pride Night Tuesday, stating that "players are free to decide which initiatives to support."

 

 

To me, the Flyers and the NHL really messed this one up, with Tortorella acting as an enabler for this type of behaviour. Both the NHL and the Flyers say they are committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, they allow a Russian hockey player to miss the pregame warmup because of his anti-gay beliefs. I think Provorov should have been forced to participate in the pregame warmup, or have to miss the entire game, and possible face a suspension. If you sign a contract to a team and an organization that supports the LGBTQ+ community, and you're willing to take millions of dollars to do that, you are signing your willingness to participate in warm-ups, even if it means using a rainbow coloured stick. I have no tolerance for this entitled attitude from a player whose country is now known as a terrorist country. The NHL has never had an openly gay active player in its history, and its because of decisions like this, where the NHL allows players to demonstrate their anti-gay beliefs by missing warm-up that the league probably won't have any players coming out in the near future. It's pretty sad.

 

Edited by -AJ-
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5 minutes ago, jyu said:

You think he should have been forced to do a pregame skate?

 

Forcing people to do stuff they don't want to? That sounds very inclusive.

 

I respect and support inclusion, especially of LGBTQ+ in hockey; in Vancouver, liberalism is our second nature, only behind to eating, sex, and pooping but it's now getting to the point that we can't tolerate anyone else who doesn't agree with us.

 

I think the worst thing that the NHL and the Flyers could have done is to force a belief down on Provorov. If Provorov were to come out with an anti LGBTQ+ slurs or express his hate towards them, that would be a different story. He didn't. He said he respects others but he doesn't want to be part of this movement and sat out.

 

Forcing people down their throat never works. 

I see a lot of themes with pregame skate these days. Special jerseys for Canadian / American troops / vets, etc. 

Are we really going to allow players to pick and choose when they want to do pregame skates? If you’re a player who signed with the league and the team, you suck it up and skate with a rainbow shirt for a few minutes. Otherwise we just allow the entitlement to grow. He’ll probably be kneeling at our national anthems when Russia suffers more losses from North American weaponry in its attempted Ukraine invasion.

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4 minutes ago, HorvatToBaertschi said:

Land of the free until it doesn't please people. That's not freedom. Yeah, him doing that sends terrible vibes and will put him on my pesornnal blacklist (and hopefully the Canucks as well), but what are you gonna do? It's his right. 

Players shouldn’t have the opportunity to boycott a pregame warmup. If he’s uncomfortable playing for a league that supports LGBQ, perhaps he should go play in KHL?

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4 minutes ago, Slegr said:

I see a lot of themes with pregame skate these days. Special jerseys for Canadian / American troops / vets, etc. 

Are we really going to allow players to pick and choose when they want to do pregame skates? If you’re a player who signed with the league and the team, you suck it up and skate with a rainbow shirt for a few minutes. Otherwise we just allow the entitlement to grow. He’ll probably be kneeling at our national anthems when Russia suffers more losses from North American weaponry in its attempted Ukraine invasion.

While I agree that easy thing to do have been to just skate a few minutes with his teammates, him deciding to step up to say that he didn't feel comfortable should not be the basis for a discipline.

 

Even an LGBTQ+ person will tell you that they don't care. They don't give a $hit as to what Provorov thinks or believes and him not skating in that jersey doesn't stop the big wave that's happening, which is inclusion.

 

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8 minutes ago, Slegr said:

Players shouldn’t have the opportunity to boycott a pregame warmup. If he’s uncomfortable playing for a league that supports LGBQ, perhaps he should go play in KHL?

Players should have the right to do as they please, as long as it doesn't infringe on anybody else's freedoms (and in a professional context, if their team is ok with them missing warmup and believe it won't affect his performance). It's a free country after all, whether you agree with people's opposing stances or not. Deciding to not put a pride jersey on isn't an attack on the LGBTQ+ community, so he's completely in the right for what he believes in. 

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1 minute ago, Coconuts said:

He's entitled not to wear it, and to not support it. That being said, people are entitled to think his beliefs are garbage and are expressing as much.

 

He's pointed to his Orthodox faith and he's been dragged for it, some have even been pointing out his hypocrisy on that front as said church doesn't allow cohabitation before marriage and he lives with his girlfriend. He may have the right to express an unpopular take but that won't protect him from the consequences or fallout of said take. 

 

Said church is a cancer, all you've gotta do is look at how Russia treats LGBTQ+. The world would be better off without bigotry masquerading as religious beliefs.

 

 

 

 

 

I agree, except I think the Flyers and NHL should not have allowed him to miss pregame over it, or face a penalty for doing so. Again, if you are playing for a team and a league that supports LGBQ, you should have to skate along with that. There are other leagues with different values. Nobody forced him to join this one. 

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Bet the tune would be changed if he kneeled during the National Anthem. Or refused to take part in an Armed Forces celebration. 

 

I understand freedom of religion. However this is the same religion that's totally ok with Russia invading the Ukraine. 

 

He stood his ground. He didn't make any nasty comments. He just didn't want to participate because of his beliefs. 

 

No win scenario pretty much. 

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Just because I choose to support LGBTQ, doesn't mean that Provorov doesn't have the right to quietly abstain from support.

 

Just as I have the right to refuse affiliate or align myself with any organization (religious or otherwise), that doesn't promote tolerance or respect other people LGBTQ etc.

 

We are all different, no organization should try and force people to comply with their way of life!

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Not a good look on Provorov, and religion as an excuse is getting tired at this point. While I agree he can have his beliefs in this case it should have been don't participate in the pre game warmups then sit for this game too. 

 

He doesn't have to show support if he chooses but he can't just skip out on the event and play too. 

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