NHL Pride Night Drama

On Jan. 17 2023, the Philadelphia Flyers wore Pride-themed jerseys during their pre-game warm-ups in order to celebrate LGBTQA+ Pride Night. However, one player, Ivan Provorov refused to wear this Pride-themed jersey, stating that he and his religion do not support it. 

Born in Yaroslavl, Russia, Ivan Provorov is the defenseman and alternate captain for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL). When Provorov stated that he would not be participating in the pre-game warmups or wearing the Pride jersey, many people were furious. Adam Proteau, writer for The Hockey News, was opinionated on the subject. 

“He’s a shameful human being whose homophobia is only going to get more shameful over the years,” Proteau said. 

NHL Network host, E. J. Hradek, was also infuriated by Provorov’s actions. 

“Ivan Provorov can get on a plane any day he wants and go back to a place where he feels more comfortable,” Hradek said. 

Provorov is Russian Orthodox, and despite the backlash, he has made it clear in the past that he is dedicated to staying true to himself. 

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

Although there are many who are frustrated with Provorov, the NHL as well as John Tortella, the Flyers’ coach, feel that an individual has the right to their own beliefs. 

“Players are free to decide which initiatives to support, and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues,” the NHL said. 

Tortella simply wants his players to stay true to themselves, something he says Provorov has always done. 

“This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy: He’s always true to himself,” Tortella said.