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Watch: NHL Player Defies Woke Mob, Refuses to Don ‘Pride’ Jersey

It’s hardly a brave stand for LGBT rights to make an entire team wear a jersey symbolizing gay pride. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of progressive bravery: It’s woke conformity. However, amid yet another pro forma display of corporate wokeitude, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov showed a rare moment of actual conviction: He refused to wear the uniform. According to ESPN, Provorov declined to come out for the pregame warm-up during a Tuesday night NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks because he felt he could not, in good conscience, wear the Flyers’ “Pride Night” warmup jersey. “Before the game, the Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow tape, both of which are being auctioned off by Flyers Charities with proceeds going toward their efforts to grow the game in diverse communities,” ESPN reported. Provorov, who is a Russian Orthodox Christian, said he made the decision “to stay true to myself and my religion.” “I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” he told reporters. “That’s all I’m going to say.” As reporters continued to pepper him with questions about what should have been a non-issue, Provorov stood firm in his desire not to discuss the matter. “If you would have any hockey questions, I would answer those,” he said. But, no: We’re now a culture where everyone in a position of cultural authority is one of the “ribbon bullies” from “Seinfeld.” And it’s not like the Seinfeldian ribbon bullies are doing it out of sheer novelty. When several players for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays refused to wear LGBT-pride uniforms last year for similar reasons, this reaction from an ESPN announcer — all but calling the players outright bigots for their religious beliefs — was about par for the course: Thankfully, Provorov’s coach — NHL legend John Tortorella — had his player’s back, telling reporters he wouldn’t consider scratching the defenseman from the lineup for refusing to don the warmup gear. “With Provy, he’s being true to himself and to his religion,” said Tortorella, who’s in his first year with the Flyers. “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.” This being ESPN, where your daily dose of sports is served up with a side of propaganda, its report couldn’t help but slyly accuse Tortorella of hypocrisy. “Tortorella has made headlines before about his stance on pregame protests. In 2016, he said that any of his players who didn’t stand for the national anthem would be benched for the rest of the game,” the outlet said. “He reversed that stance after watching the racial injustice protests in 2020, saying he would no longer punish players who protested before a game.” The fact ESPN cannot tell the difference between religious convictions and political protest says a great deal about the state of the left in 2023. [firefly_poll] Religion is, by its very nature, an all-encompassing ontological view of the world that leaves nothing untouched. One cannot say there’s a time and a place for religion: For the adherent, it is all of the time and in every place. Political protest is nothing of the sort, of course — and there’s necessarily a time and a place for it. If I stand up at a rally for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and start raving about how the capitalist system needs to be dismantled, I’ll get nothing but applause. If I pull the same stunt at my brother’s wedding, the reaction will be a bit different. And furthermore, let’s not pretend that Judeo-Christian religion has explicit prohibitions on 1) same-sex relations and 2) the sin of pride. Many choose to ignore those inconvenient parts of the Good Book, which is certainly their choice. It is not within their rights, however, is force others to ignore it — or to vigorously ostracize them if they continue t0 insist that the Bible means what it says. But that’s where we are now. At least a few “SportsCenter” cycles will be dedicated to giving Provorov the stink-eye for refusing to sacrifice his religious convictions on the altar of wokeness. Yet the outrage will die, the Truth will still be the Truth, and Ivan Provorov, hopefully, will remain unbowed. Good for him. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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