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Hockey is one of the most exciting games on Earth. Hockey culture, however, is notoriously boring. Rarely does anyone in the sport publicly stray from the herd to say or do something interesting. Journalists sometimes lament this fact, wishing that people in the game would speak more freely and show more personality.
Yet, anyone who says or does anything unexpected risks becoming the subject of widespread criticism. Something as simple as an unconventional goal celebration is enough to get a player in trouble. Journalists are often part of the problem, as they opine back and forth on any little irregularity because they’re so starved for fresh content.
This makes what Philadelphia Flyers Defenseman Ivan Provorov did on Tuesday night all the more remarkable. It was Pride Night at the Flyers game, an event held in conjunction with the National Hockey League’s Hockey is for Everyone initiative, and he declined to participate in the pregame skate because he didn’t want to wear a Pride jersey.
Citing his religion (he is Russian Orthodox), he explained, “I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choice. My choice is to stay