Florida Panthers’ players Eric and Marc Staal have come under fire from liberal media for their refusal to wear pride-themed jerseys during warmups. “After many thoughts, prayers, and discussions, we have chosen not to wear a pride jersey tonight,” Eric and Marc said in a statement to the media following the game, citing their Christian faith as being a major reason for their refusal. The Staals are the latest in a recent line of NHL players sticking to their own personal convictions in the fight against systemically enforced wokeness.
By Jared Schwartz; March 23, 2023
Two more players have been added to the NHL’s growing controversy surrounding Pride-themed jerseys.
Panthers stars Eric and Marc Staal did not participate in warmups ahead of the team’s Pride Night game against the Maple Leafs in protest on Thursday at FLA Live Arena, claiming that it went against their Christian beliefs.
The rest of the Panthers roster participated in warmups, during which they wore Pride jerseys.
“After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear a pride jersey tonight,” Eric and Marc said in a statement after their decision. “We carry no judgement on how people choose to live their lives, and believe that all people should be welcome in all aspects of the game of hockey.
“Having said that, we feel that by us wearing a pride jersey it goes against our Christian beliefs.”
The former Rangers concluded by saying they would not be commenting on the decision further.
On Wednesday, the Blackhawks announced that they would not be wearing Pride jerseys for pregame warmups despite previously planning to.
According to multiple reports, the Blackhawks’ primary rationale was to protect the safety of their three Russian players due to a new law in their homeland that made it illegal to “spread ‘propaganda’ about ‘nontraditional sexual relations’ in the media, advertising, movies or on social media.”
The Blackhawks’ decision was not made by the players, but rather by team management and security officials, according to The Athletic.
Just one day later, it’s notable that Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is Russian, wore the Pride jersey and participated in warmups.
In January, Flyers defender Ivan Provorov skipped warmups and refused to wear the team’s Pride Night jerseys ahead of a matchup with the Sharks.
Provorov cited his Russian Orthodox beliefs as the reason for his decision.
Later that month, the Rangers reversed their plans and decided to not wear Pride-themed jerseys without offering a concrete reason why.
The Post’s Larry Brooks reported that there were no team discussions about the decision, and that it was made by executives.
On Saturday, Sharks goalie James Reimer also refused to wear his team’s Pride-themed jersey and sat out of warmups ahead of a game against the Islanders.
Reimer claimed the jerseys were “counter to my personal convictions,” citing his Christian beliefs.
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