Keep an eye out for Ivan Provorov. He may soon be disappeared.
Provorov, a defenseman for the Philadelphia Flyers, is being intensely criticized for refusing the NHL’s latest descent into wokeness.
On Tuesday night, the native of Russia refused to wear the Flyers’ rainbow-themed Pride Night jersey that his teammates donned for the pregame skate. The team also used warm-up sticks that were wrapped in rainbow Pride tape.
Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox, said sporting the jersey would conflict with his religious beliefs. Accordingly, he sat out the pregame festivities.
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“I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choices,” he told reporters. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”
ESPN reported that Flyers coach John Tortorella never considered benching Provorov for resisting the warm-up action.
“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and to his religion,” Tortorella said. “This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy: He’s always true to himself. And so that’s where we’re at with that.”
That may be where Provorov and his coach are. But as PJ Media reported, leftists in the media are highly upset. They quoted some of them to make the point.
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Rachel Millanta, the lead writer covering the National Hockey League for the gambling website BetMGM, tweeted: “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.”
Steph Driver, the NHL correspondent for the SBNation sports blog, added, “Ivan Provorov was allowed to play in a game for the Philadelphia Flyers – the organization that was the first to say that you will be removed from the arena if you utter a homophobic slur – after refusing to wear a Pride logo for warm ups. What an absolute disgrace.”
Still another, A.J. Perez, a senior reporter for Front Office Sports, observed, “It takes so little effort to be an ally, to want everyone in the sport I love most to feel welcome. My main stick will always sport @PrideTape. Ivan Provorov is just the latest reminder of how parts of hockey remain toxic.”
So many “diversity” advocates, yet so little respect for diversity of thought.
ESPN noted that You Can Play, a group that has partnered with the NHL on “social activism” for the past decade, sought to bring Provorov in for a brainwashing.
The group’s COO Kurt Weaver told reporters he sought to provide “additional information and a better understanding of the situation” to Provorov and the team.
“We do this with a lot of our partners where, after an incident like this, we’ll come in and run education sessions for the whole team, for the coaches, for the individual players on a one-on-one basis,” Weaver said.
“A lot of times, it’s just that they’ve never had proximity to someone in their life who’s been out. Just to meet somebody who’s another human being goes a long way.”
Maybe activists like Weaver should meet a few devoutly religious people to develop their own “education.”
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Weaver also suggested that Provorov was a bad teammate for not wanting to submit to the Pride pregame show, and criticized Tortorella for playing Provorov after he was “not showing up for (his) job?”
The controversy involving Provorov is just the latest snafu for professional hockey recently.
As The Free Press reported, the NHL in November applauded the first all-transgender hockey tournament. When critics questioned the league’s support for the event, the NHL responded: “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.”
The NHL looked foolish for its support, however, when days later, it was revealed that a trans man (that is, a biological woman) suffered a concussion after being brutally checked by a much larger trans woman (a biological man.)
More recently, the NHL backtracked from a woke job fair after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office criticized the event as discriminatory.
The NHL posted on LinkedIn an announcement of a job fair in February in Fort Lauderdale that would coincide with the annual all-star game.
The posting concluded, “Participants must be 18 years of age or older, based in the U.S., and identify as female, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and/or a person with a disability. Veterans are also welcome and encouraged to attend.”
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In other words, straight white men need not apply.
Bryan Griffin, Florida Governor DeSantis’ spokesman, replied, “Discrimination of any sort is not welcome in the state of Florida, and we do not abide by the woke notion that discrimination should be overlooked if applied in a politically popular manner or against a politically unpopular demographic.” “
“We are fighting all discrimination in our schools and our workplaces, and we will fight it in publicly accessible places of meeting or activity,” Griffin added. Griffin also urged the NHL to “immediately remove and denounce the discriminatory prohibitions it has imposed” on the event.
Fox News reported that the NHL deleted the post and opted to open the event, called the Pathway to Hockey Summit, to anyone. In a statement to Fox News, the NHL stated that the “original wording of the LinkedIn post associated with the event was not accurate.”
“The Pathway to Hockey Summit is an informational and networking event designed to encourage all individuals to consider a career in our game – and, in particular, alert those who might not be familiar with hockey to the opportunities it offers.”