HomeSportsPhiladelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov Boycotts Team’s Pride Night Jersey

Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov Boycotts Team’s Pride Night Jersey

by Nick Geddes
Ivan Provorov
(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov did not take part in the pregame skate Tuesday night after he refused to wear his team’s LGBTQ+ Pride Night warmup jersey.

Speaking with reporters after the Flyers’ 5-2 home victory over the Anaheim Ducks, Provorov cited his religion. He identified his religion as Russian Orthodox.

“I respect everybody and respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” Provorov said.

The Flyers hosted their annual Pride Night celebration at Wells Fargo Center, in which players wore special Pride-themed warmup jerseys and used warm-up sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape. Per the team, both jerseys and sticks are being auctioned off by Flyers Charities. Proceeds go toward their efforts to grow the game in diverse communities.

Flyers first-year head coach John Tortorella said after the game he didn’t consider scratching Provorov for missing pregame warmups.

“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. That’s where we’re at with that.”

Flyers Respond to Ivan Provorov Boycotting Pride Night

The organization released a statement on Provorov declining to take part in the Pride Night festivities.

“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community,” the statement read. “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.”

The NHL, meanwhile, said Wednesday that players are “free to decide which initiatives to support.”

“Hockey is for Everyone is the umbrella initiative under which the League encourages Clubs to celebrate the diversity that exists in their respective markets, and to work to achieve more welcoming and inclusive environments for all fans,” the league said. “Clubs decide whom to celebrate, when and how — with League counsel and support. Players are free to decide which initiatives to support, and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues.”

Provorov, 26, has two goals and 13 assists in 45 games this season. His 23:08 ice time is second on the Flyers, only behind Tony DeAngelo (23:23).