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Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers is facing off against a cancel culture mob.
Provorov refused to wear a jersey celebrating gay pride. Players also had rainbow-colored tape on their hockey sticks.
Provorov is Russian Orthodox and he told reporters that while he respects everyone, he also has to abide by the teachings of his faith.
“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices,” he said. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.”
The Flyers responded by affirming their allegiance to the gay pride movement.
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community,” the team said. “Many of our players are active in their support of local LGBTQ+ organizations, and we were proud to host out annual Pride Night again this year. The Flyers will continue to be strong advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community.”
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Sports reporters across the nation piled on — accusing Provorov of being homophobic.
1. Ivan Provorov had the right to refuse to participate in the Pride Night activities in Philadelphia.— Gord Miller 🌻 (@GMillerTSN) January 18, 2023
2. The Flyers should have responded by not allowing him to play in the game.
3. Freedom of expression doesn’t give you freedom from the consequences of your words or actions. https://t.co/9fdffAQk1N
“Being LGBT+ is not a “choice.” Being ignorant, obnoxious, and homophobic is a choice. Ivan Provorov wasn’t wearing uniform tonight and the @NHLFlyers should not have let him play. Stop letting bigots hide behind their cherry-picked religion. Do better,” Rachael Millanta wrote on Twitter.
I remember years ago when the Supreme Court redefined God’s definition of marriage — when former President Obama promised Americans that no one would be forced to renounce their religious beliefs.
Live and let live, that’s what he said.
But now we know that if you want to skate in the NHL – you have to literally put your religious beliefs on ice and wrap yourself in the colors of the rainbow flag.
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#Flyers Ivan Provorov on his Pride Night pregame boycott :— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) January 18, 2023
“My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” pic.twitter.com/YSFKvkyEJC