I am usually loathe to write about issues regarding sexuality as they create more heat than light and rarely affirm either the Gospel or the ministry I believe I’m entrusted with.
However, a recent incident in the National Hockey League has raised my concern…and my ire.
Last Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers held a “Pride Night”, a celebration and affirmation of LGBTQ people and an attempt to show that the NHL is “inclusive”.
Part of the celebration involved the Flyers wearing special “pride” jerseys during warmups.
Defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to don the jersey and sat out warmups.
“I respect everybody, and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my (Russian Orthodox) religion,” Provorov said after the game in explaining his decision to sit out warmups, declining any further comment on the situation. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
Putting aside what I may think of the Russian Orthodox …Provorov was simply following his religious conscience and probably avoiding issues with the government where he lives.
The Russian government is not inclusive and there are severe penalties for those who are.
The backlash against Provorov by the media has been intense and cruel…with one commentator saying he should return to Russia and be sent to the war.
His actions, done quietly and without fanfare…has been described over and over again as “hateful” and “embarrassing”.
I can and do affirm the traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality…without any hatred whatsoever.
I am open to discussions on the matter…I’m not open to being labeled .
Cancelled some subscriptions this morning…not because I hate anyone, but some seem to hate me…I wouldn’t have worn the jersey either…
Hey, you forgot to get my blessing to write about a Philadelphia sports team before posting this. 🙂
Nonetheless, I totally agree.
At the very least, the Flyers organization and Provorov’s head coach have supported Provorov’s decision and the way he went about it. I hope they don’t cave to continued pressure.
My apologies…I assumed you wouldn’t want near this one… 🙂
The team has done much better than the media…I’ll miss The Athletic at times…
The urge to force conformity is the essence of the fundamentalist spirit. Totalitarians never sleep unless it is to dream new ways to coerce recalcitrant wills.
I blame the team most of all for politicizing the team and using the players to promote a political agenda. I ask: What the heck does hockey have to do with promoting a sexual agenda?
I respect the player for staying true to his values, which he is at liberty to hold, and despise the voices which seek to harm his livelihood and reputation.
The same type of behavior has been at work in some large church bodies. It begins with tolerance and ends with a take over.
As a hockey fan I’ve noticed it’s all about $$$. They wear the jerseys for warm up then go back and change into the real game jerseys for the game.
Then the ones used for warm up get either auctioned or sold.
All sports are getting political these days. In a real way, thery are also at the “mercy” of the conformity mob.
No one is safe. And sorts are only about $$$: the more folk you don’t get mad at ya the better.
the bee got a hold of this story too. funny stuff.
“Why would I bench him? Because of a decision he’s making on his beliefs and his religion? It turned out to be a great night for Pride night.”
Flyers coach John Tortorella defended Ivan Provorov’s decision to sit out of the team’s warmups
When Provorov was asked specifically about his decision. He said, “I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices,” he said. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”
And to me, that’s the issue. We can respect other people’s decision, but you can’t demand that same individual to advocate a position that goes against their values.
Excellent article and comments!
Interesting turn of events…Provorov’s jersey has sold out online at both the NHL store and Fanatics…at about 200.00 bucks a piece.
Hockey fans supporting him…the media may want to take note…
Thanks for that cowrie-up, Michael
Amy Grant is hosting her niece’s gay wedding!
Guess she doesn’t read our Bible! ! ! 🤔
I meant “follow-up,” btw.
(That was a weird misspell or autocorrect or whatever)
steven…..funny thing…..i read your comment and i was going to google the word cowrie. 🤪
It’s interesting and perhaps telling to me that there have been so many media articles shaming Provonov…but the comments have been mostly supportive on those articles.
It’s one thing to comment…it’s entirely another to shell out 200 bucks as a show of support…
Richard: your comment piqued my curiosity so I googled it.
It’s a real word!
Michael, I hear ya. It’s not a bad thing to consider that the “never stop being outraged” crowd (which largely is limited to being, in effect, a keyboard warrior continues to rage on….
…While the other camp simply silently goes on with their business while not getting all mixed up in yet another internet war that winds up wasting time?
Instead, they show their support more tangibly (heck, I am far from a fan of the Flyers-on my top 5 list of least favorite teams, to be honest- but I m tempted to try to track a jersey down and shell put the $200).
Over generalization, I know, but perhaps not exactly an unfair one.
Could it be that, at least on this topic, more people decided to “shut up AND put up” for their beliefs?
Michael, I think I misunderstood you, in your previous post, about the comments of the articles. I took it as the comments were pro-article but I see now that they are really “pro-player.”
There is a significant number of people who are not hateful or “homophobic”…they simply have a different belief system and are sick and tired of having this issue forced on them.
Count me as one of them…
Michael: 100% in the same camp with you
Good comments except that one about the Flyers being on your top 5 least favorite teams. Now that is worthy of outrage! 😜
Kevin: based on previous “pro Philly “ from you, you actually came to mind as I was typing that, lol
Two are in your camp
It’s a tough decision on this issue when it comes to family. My guess is Amy reads the same bible as us but she wants to maintain a relationship with her niece to have input to her later on in her life. To do otherwise would be to completely alienate her and have no future input.
There are those Christian’s that criticize me for playing music and bars. I was a pastor and they think I have “back-slid” into sin and debauchery.
It’s not true. It’s fun but also a ministry. We end every session with Amazing Grace. People sing and then come talk to us. Many with stories of life failures and ostracism from their church. We get to not only speak love and forgiveness into their lives but to be the hands, feet, and voice of Christ to them.
I am becoming more and more convinced that, at least among Evangelical churches, they have done much harm to people who struggle. We give grace to unbelievers, but withhold it from believers. They are “born again” and should know better!
So while I don’t condone same sex marriages, i think i understand Amy’s intentions.
Re: “Good comments except that one about the Flyers being on your top 5 least favorite teams. Now that is worthy of outrage!”
As a Penguins fan, the Flyers are No. 2 on my list of least favorite teams, Boston being No. 1
Officer Holly – your comment is food for thought – thanks
Officer Hoppy, slightly off topic but I personally appreciate that you play in bars and clubs. What better opportunity to minister to people that need it, especially that you end your sets with Amazing Grace…that has absolutely got to disarm people and from you say, it does!
Why can’t Christians have fun and minister at the same time? Geeze it boggles the mind that our own Savior modeled going to where people are at, and yet some get all huffy and puffy when we try to do the same.
Also, been watching old Pat Metheny videos from “Letters From Home”…videos for “Slip Away” and “Dream of the Return” (fan videos for that one). Man, Lyle Mays was awesome!
Thanks man! Pat and Lyle (RIP) are my go to musicians. Seen them perform several times. Amazing music.
Thanks man! Pat and Lyle (RIP) are my go to musicians. Seen them perform several times. Amazing music.
Appreciate your comments.
I’ve seen Pat Metheny once (Pat Metheny trio). Awesome! Never got to see Lyle live, but I just love the way he plays..so fluid.
Thirty years ago in an anonymous Bible college I attended there was a professor who went with a group of students to gay bars to talk about Jesus. There were many saved through that ministry.
I’ve taught in secular schools for many years because it is a platform for ministry. It takes wisdom and prayer (for the wisdom), but I have had so many opportunities to share Jesus, with a few friends coming to faith or returning to church. It also allows me to affirm the faith of my Christian students.
I think if Jesus were to come to earth today as the Incarnate Word, we would encounter Him in the very places we avoid, chatting about His Father.
That’s fantastic! We need Christians in dark places. In our effort to remain “righteous” and “holy” and unsullied by the world, we congregate in Christian huddles, speak the same language, and isolate. I just don’t agree with that
Btw, my wife is also a public school teacher. She retired and subbed for two years and went back to full time.
Thanks for the support!
Speaking of trios…… although it’s been a few days now…..
Linn: “I think if Jesus were to come to earth today as the Incarnate Word, we would encounter Him in the very places we avoid, chatting about His Father.”
I’ll say the Amen!
This story has nothing to do with religious beliefs or any other sort of Evangelical blather.
An exact equivalent situation would be a…1930’s german citizen wearing or displaying symbols supportive of Jewish “inclusion “, while in a foreign country.
Another would be an Iranian woman exposing her hair publicly, while in a foreign country.
Governments have security services and facilities for this sort of problematic and ill-advised behavior.
The stated “Russian Orthodox Faith” has nothing to do “Russian Orthodox Faith”. But, it is a very advisable combination of words to use in this sort of situation. Especially when followed by, ” no further comment”.