Shoutout to Ivan Provorov, man.
The Philadelphia Flyers celebrated their Pride Night on Jan. 15, but it didn’t come without some drama. Defenseman Ivan Provorov didn’t participate in the pregame skate because he refused to wear the team’s LGBTQ+ jersey, saying it was because of his religious beliefs.
After Philadelphia scored the 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks, Provorov told the press he made the decision “to stay true to myself and my religion,” which he said is Russian Orthodox.
Prior to the game, the Flyers wore LGBTQ+ Pride-themed jerseys and had sticks wrapped in rainbow tape. Both items (from each player) were then auctioned off by Flyers Charities, which will dedicate the money to bringing the sport of hockey to various U.S. communities. Provorov was the only Philly player without anything up for auction.
#Flyers Ivan Provorov on his Pride Night pregame boycott :
“My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.” pic.twitter.com/YSFKvkyEJC
— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) January 18, 2023
Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Ivan Provorov after the game. “He’s being true to himself and his religion,” Tortorella said, then left it at that in true boss fashion.
Ivan Provorov didn’t participate in warmups, and head coach John Tortorella confirmed it was because he chose not to wear the team’s Pride-themed jersey on Pride Night.
Full comments: pic.twitter.com/Gdd7035pEg
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 18, 2023
I’ve gotta ride with my man Ivan Provorov in this case.
It’s all about freedom of expression. The LGBTQ+ community is able to have their Pride events and wave their flags everywhere, so why can’t Provorov express his views as well?
Plus, he’s Russian. I don’t think he wants to deal with those problems back home … just sayin’. (RELATED: USA! USA! USA!: American Mackenzie McDonald Upsets Legendary Tennis Star Rafael Nadal At Australian Open)
And, quite frankly, the press made this a big deal — it wasn’t Provorov. All he did was sit out the LGBTQ+ pregame festivities. He didn’t actually say anything until reporters pressed him on it.
That man is allowed to have an opinion just like everybody else, especially when people ask him for it.