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Flyers’ Ivan Provorov Skips Pride Night Warmups Because of Religious Beliefs

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Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers

Citing his religious beliefs, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov missed Pride Night warmups Tuesday.

The Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys during warmups and used sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape.

Provorov, 26, played in the Flyers’ 5-2 win over Anaheim at the Wells Fargo Center, and had no points and was plus-1 in 22:45.

After the game, he said he has nothing against the LGBTQ+ community.

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

Throughout his career, Provorov has kept holy cards by his locker at home and on the road. He is Russian Orthodox.

Flyers coach John Tortorella said it was a “great night” for the LGBTQ+ community to be recognized and celebrated.

Respects Provy

“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and his origin,” Tortorella said. “It has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy: He’s always true to himself, so that’s where we’re at with that.”

He said he did not consider benching Provorov because he wouldn’t wear the Pride jersey and take warmups before the game.

Tortorella didn’t want to talk about the matter any further.

In 2016, Tortorella, who then coached Columbus, said if any of his players didn’t stand for the national anthem, they would be benched. He changed that stance after watching the racial injustice protests in 2020.

In a statement Tuesday, a Philadelphia Flyers spokesperson said the organization “is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community. 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.”

Before Tuesday’s game, the Flyers hosted a pre-game skate for local LGBTQ+ youth and officers from the Greater Philadelphia G.O.A.L. organization. One of G.O.A.L.’s missions is to advocate for the LGBTQ+’s first responders and military members.

During the game, Flyers Charities presented the Great Philadelphia G.O.A.L. with a $5,000 check to support their work with the LGBTQ+ community.

Wants to talk hockey

Reporters tried to ask Provorov more questions about his beliefs, but the defenseman brushed them aside. After briefly explaining his stance, he said he would only answer hockey-related questions.

The Flyers are one of the NHL’s hottest teams, having won eight of their last 10 games to climb within five points of a wild-card playoff spot.

Provorov last week was the subject of trade rumors, but said he wanted to remain with the Flyers, and that he was loyal to the team that selected him in the first round of the of the 2015 draft.

PHN: With Rumors Swirling, Provy Wants to Remain with Flyers

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