Americans have rallied around Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov after he personally abstained from Pride festivities before a hockey game.
Provorov refused to participate in pregame warmups where players wore Pride-themed jerseys and wielded hockey sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape. "I respect everyone," he told reporters after they won the actual game against the Anaheim Ducks. "I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion."
Multiple news outlets including the Post Millennial, OutKick and Washington Examiner have since reported that the Philadelphia Flyers Provorov jerseys have been selling out in multiple stores online. As of the writing of this article, the only Provorov jerseys that remain in the official NHL shop and their partner, Fanatics, are for women.
X Strategies LLC Senior Digital strategist Greg Price tweeted, "Ivan Provorov’s jersey is now completely sold out on NHL Shop and Fanatics with the exception of extra smalls."
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Media commentators such as Canadian sports pundit Sid Seixeiro slammed Provorov for adhering to his Russian Orthodox faith.
"Nothing scares me more than any human being who says ‘I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs,’" he said.
He then followed by slamming religious people in general.
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"Because when you look at people’s lives who normally say that publicly, you’d throw up at what you saw. You would throw up at what you saw," Seixeiro said. "And I’ve seen that a million times in a lot of different ways. So don’t give me that. With respect, don’t gimme that, because no one’s perfect. Don’t feed me the religious beliefs line and all of a sudden the NHL is going to back off this."
NHL Network senior reporter EJ Hradek, on the other hand, appeared to slam Provorov for his ethnic background. He proposed that Provorov, who immigrated to the US as a child should fight in the Ukraine-Russia conflict if he does not wish to "assimilate" to American sports culture.
"If it bothers you that much, there's always a chance to leave, go back to where you feel more comfortable — I understand there's a conflict of sorts going on over there, maybe get involved," Hradek said.