‘Against Our Christian Beliefs’: Two NHL Brothers Refuse To Wear LGBTQ Sweater
Behind the scenes of the NHL Media Tour
Mike Stobe/Getty Images for the NHL

Two brothers who are teammates on the NHL’s Florida Panthers refused to wear an LGBTQ sweater during the team’s warmup skate on Thursday night, citing their religious beliefs.

Eric and Marc Staal joined San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov, who have also refused to take part in warmups with pride-themed jerseys.

“After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear a Pride Night jersey tonight,” the brothers stated.

“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,” they continued.

“We hope you can respect this statement. We will not be speaking any further on this matter and would like to continue to focus on the game and helping the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup,” they concluded.

Reimer had stated last Saturday, “I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life. I strongly believe that every person has value and worth and the LGTBQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.”

“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” Provorov, who is Russian Orthodox, said in January after eschewing wearing the pride-themed jersey.

“With Provy, he’s being true to himself and 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. That’s where we’re at with that,” Flyers head coach John Tortorella said.


Two days after Provorov refused to wear the pride-themed jersey, his jersey was sold out on several websites in men’s sizes.

“As of Thursday afternoon, on the Fanatics and NHL Shop sites, the jersey did not appear to be available in men’s sizes and was only able to be purchased in women’s sizes,” The Daily Wire reported on January 19. “Other apparel seemed to be available for purchase, as were custom made jerseys.”

Outkick reported that the men’s jersey for the player was only available in an extra-small size on the two sites. Fanatics and NHL Shop were both saying the jerseys were “almost gone” for people to buy.

Charlotte Pence Bond contributed to this report.

Related: NHL’s Ivan Provorov Jerseys Nearly Sell Out Online

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