The San Jose Sharks hosted a Pride Night Saturday and wore LGBTQIA+ pride jerseys designed by a gay artist from the city.
San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer has become the second NHL player this year to refuse to wear the LGBTQIA+ Pride jersey.
Reimer also decided to boycott team warmups before its home game against the New York Islanders.
Reimer said that he was remaining true to his Christian beliefs in a statement that was posted on social media:
He read the statement during a press conference:
For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian – not just in title but in how I choose to live my life daily. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ who died on a cross for my sins, and in response, asks me to love everyone and follow him. I have no hate in my heart for anyone, and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness.
In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life.
I strongly believe that every person has value and worth and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.
Here is Reimer’s full press conference:
Ivan Provorov, a Philadelphia Flyer who is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, refused to wear the woke jersey earlier this year, saying “I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to my religion, that’s all I’m gonna say.”
After refusing to wear the Pride jersey, Provorov jerseys immediately sold out online.