Canadian sports pundit Sid Seixeiro criticized Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov for his decision to boycott the organization’s festivities surrounding its Pride night and hit out at the NHL for letting it happen in a lengthy tirade on Wednesday. in the morning.
Seixeiro appeared on «Breakfast Television» and called on the NHL to fine the Flyers for Provorov and said the league needed to «reevaluate» how it supports gay rights.
«The issue of the National Hockey League is that hockey is for everyone. The issue is not that hockey is for everyone, period, period, period, unless you don’t believe in gay rights, then do what you you want,» he said. «If the National Hockey League is going to do this, if any league is going to do this, either do it properly or reevaluate what you’re doing because I don’t see a lot of repercussions in any league.
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«Now, I could trade with the NHL. I think you fine the Flyers a million dollars for this, I’m not kidding. Get this resolved and stop offending people on nights when it’s not about that. It’s about of inclusion». The National Hockey League I need to attack this and resolve it because what I heard last night was offensive and didn’t make any sense.
«For example, if that was a military night, if someone in Canada or the United States at a military appreciation night didn’t wear a T-shirt before the game, do you have any idea the uproar that would have occurred? Do you have any idea? The reaction violent? Do you have any idea what would happen on social media? It’s ridiculous what would have happened.
«I think the NHL has to do something here. This is not good enough. This is not good enough. Hockey is for everyone, period, period, period, unless you don’t agree with gay rights. You’re either in it or you’re not.»
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Provorov did not participate in pregame warmups when the team wore Pride-themed jerseys and used sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride ribbon. He cited his Russian Orthodox religion as the reason he did not participate. He eventually played in the game against the Anaheim Ducks.
«I respect everyone and I respect everyone’s choices,» he told reporters after the game. «My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.»
Seixeiro questioned whether Provorov’s religious beliefs affected his decision to participate in Pride night.
«And one last point: nothing scares me more than any human being who says I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs,» he said. «Because when you look at the lives of people who would normally say that publicly, you would throw up at what you saw. You would throw up at what you saw. And I’ve seen it a million times in many different ways. So don’t tell me that. With respect, don’t tell me that, because no one is perfect.Don’t feed me the religious belief line and all of a sudden the NHL is going to back down.
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«The National Hockey League today needs to fine that organization $1 million and reevaluate how it supports gay rights because that’s insulting. That’s the number one trending topic in Canada. That’s insulting what happened in Philadelphia. Yeah the NHL is serious about this they say they are we’ll see we’ll see how serious they are today But all of that was handled poorly Part of me couldn’t believe it Part of me could explain how the NHL sometimes handles things. «
The NHL did not seem ready to fine anyone for Provorov’s decision.
«Hockey is for Everyone is the umbrella initiative under which the League encourages clubs to celebrate the diversity that exists in their respective markets and to work towards more welcoming and inclusive environments for all fans,» the league said in a statement. «Clubs decide who to celebrate, when and how, with the advice and support of the League. Players are free to decide which initiatives to support, and we continue to encourage their voices and perspectives on social and cultural issues.»
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The Russian native, who is in his seventh season with the Flyers, received backlash on social media over the boycott.