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Philadelphia Flyers Player Refuses to Participate in Team’s LGBT Pride Celebration, Citing Christian Faith

A player for the Philadelphia Flyers invoked his Christian faith Tuesday night in explaining why he refused to observe the team’s pride night commemoration.

Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to join his teammates as they took to the ice during pre-game warmups wearing rainbow jerseys and carrying hockey sticks wrapped in rainbow tape, symbolizing solidarity with the LGBT community. After the festivities, Provorov played in the game against the Anaheim Ducks, which Philadelphia won 5-2.

“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” which is Russian Orthodox, the second largest Christian church, Provorov told reporters after the game. He made no other comments.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Provorov’s right to exercise his beliefs. “He’s being true to himself and to his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself,” Tortorella said.

When a reporter asked whether he considered not playing Provorov as punishment for his decision to boycott the Pride celebration, Tortorella replied, “No.”



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