When a player for the Philadelphia Flyers refused to wear a “Pride-themed” jersey, the media torched him, and that caused Americans to come to his rescue in a big way.
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov wasn’t looking to make headlines for anything other than his hockey skills. However, when he was told he would have to wear a Pride-themed jersey and wield a hockey stick wrapped in rainbow Pride tape for warm-ups, the defenseman refused and cited his Russian Orthodox faith.
“I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say,” Provorov told reporters. “I’m Russian Orthodox,” he added when asked.
NHL Network senior reporter EJ Hradek trashed Provorov, who moved from Russia to Pennsylvania when he was 13, saying he should go back to Russia and fight in Ukraine. “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,” he said.
“The Flyers should have responded by not allowing him to play in the game,” tweeted NHL announcer Gord Miller with the Canadian network TSN. “Freedom of expression doesn’t give you freedom from the consequences of your words or actions.”
Canadian sports pundit Sid Seixeiro slammed Provorov for adhering to his Russian Orthodox faith. “Nothing scares me more than any human being who says ‘I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs,’” he said.
“He’s a shameful human being, whose homophobia is only going to get more shameful over the years,” Adam Proteau of The Hockey News proclaimed. He likened Provorov’s action to racism or antisemitism, and then boasted, “I’m going to keep on keepin’ on, and all the wonderful people on the right side of history should do the same. Don’t ever let vicious opposition intimidate you.”
Reporter Tim Graham saw the situation differently. “The ‘progressives’ really cannot tolerate dissent, and especially when it comes to their LGBTQ ideology. Expressing solidarity with ‘gay pride’ is not optional,” he wrote. Graham’s take may have been more aligned with many Americans who backed up Provorov in a big way.
Americans have rallied around Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov after he personally abstained from the Pride festivities before the hockey game. Multiple news outlets have since reported that the Philadelphia Flyers Provorov jerseys have been selling out in multiple stores online.
X Strategies LLC Senior Digital strategist Greg Price tweeted, “Ivan Provorov’s jersey is now completely sold out on NHL Shop and Fanatics with the exception of extra smalls.” Americans also supported the hockey player on social media. “Nothing scares me more than any human being who caves and does what the woke mob wants in spite of their own beliefs or ideologies just to avoid getting canceled,” one commenter wrote. “If you genuinely believe in a cause, you should feel free to show support for it on your own time. But don’t do it at a sporting event, and definitely don’t force others into doing it under the threat of being canceled if they don’t comply.”
You don’t get to dictate other peoples’ morals. That’s not how freedom works. Ivan Provorov showed respect by not participating without the rainbow sign. He tried to keep his personal feelings away from the spotlight, and it is the media stirring up the controversy. They’re trying to punish him. So much for personal freedom.