NHL analyst says Ivan Provorov may ‘meddle’ in Russia-Ukraine war after rejecting gay pride jersey – Fox News

NHL analyst says Ivan Provorov may ‘meddle’ in Russia-Ukraine war after rejecting gay pride jersey – Fox News

On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov refused to wear a gay pride pre-match jersey at the team’s Pride Night, citing religious beliefs.

Provorov’s move drew a lot of criticism, even from the NHL’s own reporters.

On Wednesday’s NHL Network’s “NHL Now,” Senior Reporter EJ Hradek delivered an ultimatum to Russia’s Provorov.

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Joel Farabee #86, Rasmus Ristolainen #55, Carter Hart #79 and Cam York #45 of the Philadelphia Flyers skate during warm up before their game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center on January 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Flyers wear limited edition jerseys during warm up to celebrate tonight's Pride Night.

Joel Farabee #86, Rasmus Ristolainen #55, Carter Hart #79 and Cam York #45 of the Philadelphia Flyers skate during warm up before their game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center on January 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers wear limited edition jerseys during warm up to celebrate tonight’s Pride Night. (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

“Ivan Provorov can get on a plane any day and go back to a place where he feels more comfortable, take less money and get on with his life that way, if it’s that problematic for him…” Hradek said. “If this is such a big issue for him, maybe integrating into his group of teammates and into the community and here in this country, that’s fine. Listen, you can feel however you want. But the nice thing is, if it bothers you that much, there’s always a chance to go back to where you’re more comfortable – I understand there’s some sort of conflict going on over there, maybe you’ll interfere.

Analysts Stu Grimson, EJ Hradek and presenter Lauren Gardner attend Game 4 of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Finals between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

Analysts Stu Grimson, EJ Hradek and presenter Lauren Gardner attend Game 4 of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Finals between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.

ESPN WRITER CALLS OUT FLYERS PLAYER TO WEAR JERSEY TO SUPPORT THE MILITARY BUT SKIP LGBTQ SWEATERS

Provorov was branded “homophobic” for the move, although he said he “respects it[s] everyone and respect[s] everyone’s choice.”

“My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say,” he said after the game.

In a statement released Tuesday night, the Flyers said they are “committed to inclusion and proud to support the LGBTQ+ community.

“Many of our players actively support local LGBTQ+ organizations and we were proud to host the annual Pride Night again this year,” they said. “The Flyers will continue to be strong advocates for inclusion and the LGBTQ+ community.”

The Philadelphia Flyers' Ivan Provorov #9 runs with the puck past Anaheim Ducks' Max Jones #49 during the third period at the Wells Fargo Center on January 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov #9 runs with the puck past Anaheim Ducks’ Max Jones #49 during the third period at the Wells Fargo Center on January 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

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Head coach John Tortorella said it would have been “unfair” to bench Provorov for his beliefs, adding that he respects Provorov “forever”. [being] true to himself.”

The league said on Wednesday that “players are free to choose which initiatives to support and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues.”

The league has not responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Hradek’s views.