LGBTQ community recognition nights continue to struggle in the NHL. James Reimer, goaltender for the San Jose Sharks, explained at length this Saturday his decision not to wear a jersey specially designed for the event. To do this, he invoked his Christian faith.
Tour teams hold different celebrations throughout the season to show their support for the LGBTQ community. One of the strong elements of these evenings is the wearing of a special jersey during the warm-up period.
Over the past few months, teams have encountered resistance within their roster. In Philadelphia, defenseman Ivan Provorov was the first to cause controversy by refusing to take part in the warm-up period, justifying his decision by his religious beliefs.
In Manhattan and Minnesota, among other places, no one wore the rainbow sweater, although this initiative was planned.
In San Jose on Saturday, goaltender James Reimer impersonated Ivan Provorov and did not participate in the warm-up. He released a statement in which he explained that he was “a Christian, not just on paper, but in the way I choose to live my daily life.”
“I don’t hate anyone, and I’ve always treated everyone I’ve come across with respect and kindness,” he added. In this specific case, I chose not to endorse something that is contrary to my personal beliefs which are based on the Bible, the greatest authority in life. »
“I strongly believe that every person has value, and the LGBTQ community, like all others, should be welcomed into all aspects of hockey. »
To San Jose reporters, who relayed his comments on social media, he explained that he found wearing a rainbow sweater too intrusive.
He went on to explain that the way he and his loved ones “interpret the Bible” he says he is willing to “love” members of the LGBTQ community, but does not “endorse this activity or this way of life”.
Sharks captain Logan Couture said he and most of his teammates were “excited” to wear the jersey, but “everyone has a right to their choices” and Reimer made his own.