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NHL’s Only Openly Gay Player Speaks Out on Pride Night Controversy

The NHL’s use of special jerseys for LGBTQ+ awareness and Pride Night celebrations has sparked controversy this season.

Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers started the controversy earlier this season when he refused to wear a rainbow-colored Pride jersey for warmups due to religious beliefs.

Since then, the New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild have both declined to wear Pride jerseys as planned.
Recently, San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer chose not to wear a Pride jersey during his team’s celebrations, citing religious beliefs as well. Reimer, a devout Mennonite, a Christian faith known for practicing pacifism, has no problem wearing camo gear on Military Appreciation Night, but I digress…

Nashville Predators defenseman Luke Prokop, the NHL’s only openly gay player, has been mostly silent on these developments, but in light of the Reimer controversy, Prokop has decided to speak out.

Personally, I don’t care whether or not players wear the Pride warmup jerseys.
But I also say this as a heterosexual man. These celebration nights aren’t for me, nor are they about me.
I’m mature enough to recognize that seeing these types of celebrations has real value for some people, and I’m not about to condemn something that makes them feel welcome and safe.

People, live and let live.
It’s written right in your Bible, James…

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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