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Flyers' Provorov refuses to wear Pride Night-themed warmup jersey

Ivan Provorov Ivan Provorov - Getty Images

Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Ivan Provorov did not warm up ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Anaheim because he did not want to wear the team’s Pride Night-themed warmup jersey, he confirmed after the game.

“I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion," Provorov said and declined to answer further questions on the matter.

“With [Provorov], he’s being true to himself and to his religion. This has to do with his belief and his religion. It’s one thing I respect about Provy, he’s always true to himself. And so that’s where I am with that,” head coach John Tortorella said of his player's decision.

Provorov was the lone Flyer not to skate in warmups with the rest of the team’s players wearing jerseys featuring a rainbow pattern on the nameplate and numbers, as well as sticks wrapped in Pride-themed tape. Jerseys and sticks were to be auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to charity.

Tortorella added that he did not consider sitting Provorov, who played nearly 23 minutes and led the Flyers in ice time in the 5-2 victory over the Ducks.

“I think the organization has sent out a release regarding the [beliefs the organization has about Pride Night] and how we feel about it. Really a great night,” Tortorella said.

“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community," read the team's statement. "Many of our players are active in their support of local LGBTQ+ organizations, and we were proud to host our annual Pride Night again this year. The Flyers will continue to be strong advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community."

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Giana Han, this is the first time the Flyers have worn Pride Night-themed warmup jerseys but not the first time the team has hosted the event.

Flyers players James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton have been vocal supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, partnering with non-profit organizations and hosting members of the community at home games, including Tuesday's.

"I know Provy spoke. I know Torts did. Me and [van Riemsdyk] just got back from a room with about 50 people from the community," Laughton told reporters. "It was a great night. Amazing initiative and something that's been close to me for a long time. I know Reemer, too. So I'm gonna leave it at that."

Provorov is in the midst of his seventh season with the Flyers.