WATCH: NHL player Ivan Provorov refuses to wear rainbow jersey for 'Pride Night', citing Christian faith

"I respect everybody's choices," Provorov said following the game. "My choice is to stay true to my religion, that's all I'm gonna say." 

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Flyers defenceman Ivan Provorov refused to wear a rainbow jersey for the team's "Pride Night" warmup against the Ducks on Tuesday.

While justifying the move to reporters, the Russian-born enforcer cited his Christian faith.

"I respect everybody's choices," Provorov said following the game, which the Flyers won 5-2. "My choice is to stay true to my religion, that's all I'm gonna say." 

When reporters pressed him further, he simply replied, "That's all I'm gonna comment on that. If you have any hockey questions, I would answer those."

Provorov is a member of the Russian Orthodox church, which takes a hardline stance on LGBTQ issues. It does not, for example, perform or recognize same-sex marriages, nor can anyone openly idenfitying as LGBTQ be ordained.

Flyers coach John Tortorella was asked about Provorov's decision at the post-game press conference.

"He's being true to himself and to his religion," Torts said. "That's one thing I always respect about Provie, he's always true to himself, and so that's where we're at with that."

Torts went on to deny that he considered benching Provorov over his refusal to wear the jersey.

"I think it was a great night in celebrating," Torts said of Pride Night, adding that he felt it was "unfair" that Provorov was being targeted.

In a statement, the Flyers organization reiterated that it is "committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community."

Provorov has long been adamant about sticking to hockey both on and off the ice, dismissing questions that stray from the game.

Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, he was asked about his thoughts on the conflict, to which he responded, "I'm not here to talk politics; I'm here to talk hockey. My opinion is none of your guys' business."

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