Ivan Provorov Refuses Pregame Skate Due to “Pride” Warm-Up Jerseys


There are three things that should never be talked about at a bar:

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Is Letterkenny better than Trailer Park Boys?

Right now, we are going to have an unfortunate conversation about the first two. Sorry.

Ivan Provorov Refuses Pregame Skate Due to “Pride” Warm-Up Jerseys

I’m going to try and stay away from what most people will undoubtedly focus on once this story starts circulating on “main-stream” cable news. The political component.

Last evening, Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov did not participate in pregame warm-ups with the team. What seems like a non-story, was then brought to the attention of the gathered post-game media.

Provorov stated that the reasoning for missing pregame skate was:

“I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,”

Oh boy…here we go.

Provorov is Exposing Forced-Inclusion

The one thing I never try to do is spark a political debate. I hate that. Political arguments are about as lucid and useful as arguing if the color orange is more red or yellow.

The reasoning behind forcing someone to “include” something, because the job they chose to do puts them in a tough spot is a bit much, to me. Now, Provorov wasn’t “forced” to pregame skate. In fact, coach John Tortorella defended Ivan’s decision post-game:

“With [Provorov], 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 I am with that,”

I’m not saying players doing work in the community is a bad thing, even for those causes. Far from it. There are many players who take it upon themselves to do either team-sponsored or individual acts of charity in the local community. Hockey players seem to do tremendous work off the ice.

The issue is with the league creating a situation where if a player doesn’t share the PR cause the league is promoting, that player can be outcast and ostracized by no fault of their own. The player is now forced to answer questions for something they had no desire to become an issue.

Unfortunately, this ties to politics and religion. Those two reasons are cited in every case where someone feels like they shouldn’t participate in the PR activity the league is pimping at the moment.

The most sensible way to solve this issue is to keep both of those topics away from sports. As long as teams aren’t leading “exclusion” events that are purposely demeaning people, they shouldn’t be forced to host “inclusion” events either. There is no reason to try to gain PR points with a group by doing something as cringe-inducing as “forcing” people to appreciate you.

Sports should be like the bar; keep the politics and religion out of it, and keep it civil. Everyone should have the right to exist the way they believe.

Could the Flyers end up with the first overall pick, and a shot at drafting Connor Bedard?


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