Ivan Provorov played for nearly 23 minutes for Philadelphia Flyers in the 4-2 win against Anaheim Ducks Tuesday. But after the game, everyone talked about how the Russian defenseman decided to sit out the warmup.
The Flyers held their annual Pride Night in celebration and support for the LGBTQ+ community. But Provorov cited his Russian Orthodox religion as he refused to participate in warmup, where Flyers players wore Pride-themed jerseys.
John Tortorella decided to play Provorov in the game and afterward praised his player for the decision.
“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and to his religion,” Tortorella said.
“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 I’m at with that.”
Provorov’s decision has been the talk of the NHL for the last couple of days, and opinions are divided on whether he did right or wrong and if the Flyers made the correct choice to play him. Many have also slammed John Tortorella for defending his player.
One of them is Sid Seixeiro. The Canadian sports pundit appeared on ”Breakfast Television” and absolutely slammed Provorov, the Flyers, and the NHL.
He strongly believes that the NHL should take action.
”The theme from the National Hockey League is that hockey is for everyone. The theme isn’t hockey is for everyone dot, dot, dot unless you don’t believe in gay rights then do whatever you want,” he said.
“If the National Hockey League is going to do this, if any league is going to do this, do it properly or reevaluate what you’re doing because there’s not a lot of repercussions that I’m seeing from any league.”
Seixeiro even suggests that the NHL should fine the Flyers for a crazy amount.
“Now, it could change with the NHL. I think you fine the Flyers $1 million for this, I’m not kidding. Figure this out and stop offending people on nights where it’s not about that. It’s about inclusivity. The National Hockey League need to attack this and figure this out because what I heard last night was offensive and didn’t make any sense.”
Seixeiro claims everything would be different if this happened on a military-honoring night.
”For instance, if that was a military night, if anyone in Canada or the States on a military appreciation night wouldn’t wear a jersey pregame do you have any idea the uproar that would’ve happened on that? Do you have any idea the backlash? Do you have any idea what would happen on social media? It’s ridiculous what would’ve happened.”
Seixeiro also slammed Provorov for using his religious belief to justify his sitting out.
“And one last point: Nothing scares me more than any human being who says I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs.
”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. 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.”