Making an entire team wear a gay pride jersey is hardly a brave stand for LGBT rights. It is, in fact, the polar opposite of progressive bravery: woke conformity.
However, in yet another cynical display of corporate wokeitude, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov demonstrated a rare moment of genuine conviction: he refused to wear the uniform.
According to ESPN, Provorov declined to come out for the pregame warm-up during a Tuesday night NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks because he felt he could not, in good conscience, wear the Flyers’ “Pride Night” warmup jersey.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 17, 2023
“Before the game, the Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow tape, both of which are being auctioned off by Flyers Charities with proceeds going toward their efforts to grow the game in diverse communities,” ESPN reported.
Provorov, a Russian Orthodox Christian, stated that he chose to “stay true to myself and my religion.”
“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” he told reporters.
“That’s all I’m going to say.”
— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) January 18, 2023
As reporters continued to grill him on what should have been a non-issue, Provorov stood firm in his refusal to discuss the matter.
“If you would have any hockey questions, I would answer those,” he said.
But, no: We’re now a culture where everyone in a position of cultural authority is one of the “ribbon bullies” from “Seinfeld.”
And it’s not like the Seinfeldian ribbon bullies are doing it for fun. When several players for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays refused to wear LGBT-pride uniforms last year for similar reasons, an ESPN announcer’s reaction — effectively labeling the players as bigots for their religious beliefs — is about par for the course:
Yesterday @espn’s Sarah Spain said on air that Tampa Bay Rays players who don’t wear a pride flag are bigoted and using BS religion. Imagine turning on sports and getting this loony left wing insanity on your TV. Embarrassing. pic.twitter.com/Z0B9KzSS1k
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) June 8, 2022
Thankfully, Provorov’s coach, NHL legend John Tortorella, was on his side, telling reporters that he would not consider benching the defenseman for refusing to put on the warmup gear.
“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and to his religion,” said Tortorella, who’s in his first year with the Flyers.
“This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy: He’s always true to himself. That’s where we’re at with that.”
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
With ESPN serving up your daily dose of sports with a side of propaganda, its report couldn’t help but accuse Tortorella of hypocrisy.
Tortorella has made headlines before about his stance on pregame protests. In 2016, he said that any of his players who didn’t stand for the national anthem would be benched for the rest of the game,” the outlet said.
“He reversed that stance after watching the racial injustice protests in 2020, saying he would no longer punish players who protested before a game.”
The fact that ESPN cannot distinguish between religious convictions and political protest says a lot about the state of the left in 2023.
Religion, by definition, is an all-encompassing ontological view of the world that leaves nothing out. There is no such thing as a time and a place for religion: for the adherent, it is always everywhere.
Of course, political protest is nothing of the sort — and it has to have a time and a place. I’ll get nothing but applause if I stand up at a rally for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and start ranting about how the capitalist system needs to be dismantled. The reaction will be different if I pull the same stunt at my brother’s wedding.
Here is more from Western Journal:
Furthermore, let’s not pretend that the Judeo-Christian religion has explicit prohibitions on 1) same-sex relations and 2) the sin of pride.
Many choose to ignore those inconvenient parts of the Good Book, which is certainly their choice.
It is not within their rights, however, is force others to ignore it — or to vigorously ostracize them if they continue to insist that the Bible means what it says.
But that’s where we are now. At least a few “SportsCenter” cycles will be dedicated to giving Provorov the stink-eye for refusing to sacrifice his religious convictions on the altar of wokeness.
However, the outrage will die, the Truth will remain the Truth, and Ivan Provorov will, hopefully, remain unbowed. That’s fantastic.