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NHL player, citing his faith, doesn't warm up with team wearing LGBTQ colors before 'Pride Night' game. ESPN writer who covered controversy bashes player on Twitter.
Philadelphia Flyers player uses rainbow stick, wears rainbow jersey during warmups before Pride Night game against Anaheim Ducks, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Jan. 17, 2023. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHL player, citing his faith, doesn't warm up with team wearing LGBTQ colors before 'Pride Night' game. ESPN writer who covered controversy bashes player on Twitter.

Philadelphia Flyers player Ivan Provorov, citing his religious beliefs, refused to skate before Tuesday's "Pride Night" game since his teammates were wearing LBGTQ colors for their warm-up, ESPN reported.

The 26-year-old defenseman told reporters after the Flyers' 5-2 home win over the Anaheim Ducks that he intended "to stay true to myself and my religion," the sports network said.

Provorov said he is Russian Orthodox.

"I respect everyone," he added to reporters. "I respect everybody's choices."

The Flyers wore rainbow colors on their warm-up jerseys and used sticks with rainbow tape, which ESPN said are being auctioned by Flyers Charities with proceeds going toward the team's "efforts to grow the game in diverse communities."

Provorov was the only Flyers player who didn't have a jersey or a stick up for auction after the game, the sports network added.

Flyers coach John Tortorella said he didn't consider benching Provorov for not taking part in the warm-up, ESPN reported: "With Provy, he's being true to himself and to his religion. 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."

ESPN writer who penned story bashes Provorov on Twitter

The author of the ESPN story cited above — Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL writer for the sports network — exercised a fairly even hand in his article, but he blasted Provorov on Twitter:

"Ivan Provorov is the only @NHLFlyers player not to have a Pride jersey up for postgame auction," Wyshynski tweeted. "The sale of pregame jerseys and rainbow sticks benefit Flyers Charities and efforts to grow the game in diverse communities. Provorov owes them a donation."

Responding to a Twitter user who declared Provorov doesn't owe "s**t" to Flyers Charities for holding to "his belief," Wyshynski shot back: "He literally refused to participate in a charity fundraising event for his team. This isn't skipping Pride because he refused to wave from a float. He does, in fact, owe them s**t."

Wyshynski wasn't done:

Wyshynski also issued a message to "all the homophobes" taking shots at him on Twitter:

Wyshynski wasn't alone

As you might guess, Wyshynski wasn't the only sports media figure to get personal undergarments in a wad over the situation:

Anything else?

The Flyers, like many professional sports franchises, are heavy supporters of the LGBTQ community and events like "Pride Night."

They're woke in other ways, too.

Readers of TheBlaze may recall that the Flyers in 2019 removed their Kate Smith statue outside the Wells Fargo Center over reports the late vocalist sang racially insensitive songs in the early 1930s.

Smith had been a Flyers legend for singing "God Bless America" before playoff games in the early 1970s when the team won its only Stanley Cup trophies — but in addition to removing her statue, the Flyers also said Smith's "God Bless America" no longer would be played at games and was erased from its library.

Members of Smith's family were outraged at the Flyers for the move and said Smith was not a racist. In fact, Smith told millions back in the day that "race hatreds" must be "exterminated," and she also pioneered racial integration on television.

(H/T: Outkick)

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →