The Philadelphia Flyers held their annual Pride Night on Tuesday to celebrate and support the LGTBQ+ community.
As part of the festivities, the Flyers wore Pride themed warm-up jerseys and rainbow taped sticks that will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Flyers charities that aim to grow hockey in under-represented communities.
One player was notably absent when the Flyers took to the ice for a warm-up: defenseman Ivan Provorov, who eventually made his way to the bench and ended up playing a game-high 22:45 in Philadelphia’s 5-2 win over Anaheim Ducks.
Reports circulated after the match Provorov refused to wear a Pride Knight jersey in the warm-up, prompting the Flyers to issue the following statement:
The Philadelphia Flyers are committed to inclusivity and proud to support the LGBTQ+ community. 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. “
Flyers coach John Tortorella confirmed the reports after the game, explaining that the defender made the decision because of his religion.
“He is true to himself and his religion. This has to do with his beliefs and his religion,” Tortorella said. “It’s something I respect [Provorov]Tortorella said he would not consider appointing Provorov on his decision.
Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox, met with the media shortly after and addressed his decision.
“I respect everyone and I respect everyone’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.
Controversy overshadowed what was a positive night for both the Flyers and LGBTQ+ people.
Before the game, it was The pilots held a ski To local LGBTQ+ youth and officers from the Greater Philadelphia GOAL, whose mission is to “advocate for LGBTQ+ and on behalf of first responders and military members, help educate first responders in LGBTQ+ competency, and provide community outreach to strengthen relationships between the LGBTQ+ public and first responder agencies” .
After the match, the forwards James Van Riemsdyk And Scott Lawton He did a meet-and-greet with guest of honor Tuesday, 13-year-old non-binary hockey player Trane Stevens, and his family. Lawton and Van Riesmedijk first met Stevens in November through the LGBTQ+ nonprofit they partner with.
Stephens Tell NHL.com. “I absolutely love people being involved in sports and being themselves and not having to hide it from the world.”
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