The shrill reaction to NHL player Ivan Provorov’s refusal to wear a Pride Night jersey showcases just how intolerant and cult-like the left is when it comes to pushing the LQBTQ+ political agenda, but the player’s head coach was in his corner.
Citing his religion, the Philadelphia Flyers’ defenseman made it clear that he respects the choices others make when the media jumped on the story, not that Provorov was looking to make waves. On Thursday, Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended his player saying Provorov was “being true to himself and to his religion.”
“As I said, Provy did nothing wrong,” Tortorella said during a press conference. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.”
Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Provy and refused to bench him tonight:
“He’s being true to himself.”
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 18, 2023
In a clear sign of how pervasive the left is when it comes to the acceptance of woke, the NHL adopted a new tagline that reads, “Hockey is for Everyone,” with the league seeking to use its global influence and the game of hockey “to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.” On that end, the Flyers hosted Pride Night on Tuesday and Provorov opted to quietly sit out pregame warmups that featured players wearing team jerseys with a rainbow color flag through the numbers.
Confronted about his decision after the game by reporters — somewhat surprisingly, sports reporters seem to share the same liberal leanings as political reporters — Provorov said, “I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices, My choice is to stay true to myself and to my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Tortorella likened the player’s actions to players kneeling for the national anthem — his initial stance on players taking a knee was to sit them for the game, but the head coach would later relent on that stance.
“I have learned over the years, listening and watching, that men and women who choose to kneel during this time mean no disrespect toward the flag,” Tortorella said, before adding, “I was wrong. I learned a lot through that experience. My feelings towards any type of protest to the flag during the anthem, it disgusts me, to this day. It disgusts me. It shouldn’t be done.”
“Those are my feelings; I can’t push those feelings onto someone else,” he continued. “So I was wrong in saying that back then.”
The head coach made it a point to say that Provorov was “quietly” standing by his beliefs.
“Provy’s not out there banging a drum against Pride Night,” Tortorella said. “He quietly went about his business. Him and I had a number of conversations to how we’re going to do this. You have the team; you have him. You have all of this going on.”
“He felt strongly with his beliefs, and he stayed with it,” he concluded.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Good for the coach and the player. He should not have to wear a Jersey espousing a message he doesn’t approve of. Keep politics out of sports
— Todd Headlee (@ToddHeadleeAZ) January 18, 2023
Gotta love Tortorella, imo. If only because he can be almost always relied on to wear his big boy pants and simply tell it as he sees it.
And if you don’t like it.
He doesn’t care.
— Doug Figgins (@Dougf43) January 18, 2023
I’m old enough to remember when the RAINBOW was an acknowledgement that there are lots of different viewpoints and ways of approaching the world.
— Tripp Whitbeck (@trippwhitbeck) January 18, 2023
Shame on the team for inserting politics into a sporting event and putting the players in a position they didn’t ask for.
— Pioneer (@PioneerJane) January 18, 2023
Funny how people (the alphabet brigade) who claim to be being true to themselves, get bent out of shape when a Russian Orthodox remains true to himself. You can’t force people to support what they believe and know to be wrong.
— Warren 3 (@thirdandfinal) January 18, 2023