Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov did not participate in warmups before the team’s home game against the Ducks on Tuesday night because he refused to wear a Pride Night jersey and use sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape.
Provorov, who said he is Russian Orthodox, cited his religious beliefs as why he chose not to partake in the warm-ups.
“I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s choices,” Provorov told reporters after the game, declining to get into any further detail. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”
The Flyers released a statement on the matter but did not mention Provorov by name.
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the local LGBTQ+ community,” the statement said. “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 during his postgame press conference why Provorov, 26, was absent from warmups and said he did not consider benching him. He referred to the organization’s statement and the “beliefs that we have” about a “great night” before sharing brief thoughts on Provorov.
“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and his religion,” Tortorella said. “This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy is he is always true to himself.”
The Flyers won the game 5-2 and Provorov, who has played all seven of his NHL seasons in Philadelphia, received 22:45 minutes of ice time.
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