Opinion: Provorov protest shows ice hockey is still not inclusive

0 5

Bradcrumb Trail links

When Flyers hockey player Ivan Provorov refused to wear his team’s colorful Pride jersey before the game, he cited his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs as justification and boycotted the team’s warm-up skate. team before the game, but later returned to play in the game to play.

Posted January 24, 2023 • 3 minutes reading

Kristopher Wells holds a hockey stick emblazoned with Pride at Clare Drake Arena on December 17, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. Pride Tape was announced as a demonstration of the hockey world’s support for LGBTQ youth. Photo by Perry Mah/Postmedia

article content

On January 17, the Philadelphia Flyers held their annual Pride Night celebration against the Anaheim Ducks as part of the National Hockey League’s ambitious “Hockey Is for Everyone” campaign. For hockey, baseball, football and many other sports around the world, Pride Nights, often featuring rainbow-colored Pride tape, have become an increasingly common and colorful way to celebrate community inclusion LGBTQ+ by inviting them into an environment that traditionally hasn’t been. was welcoming or supportive.

advertising 2

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

article content

The NHL is the only major professional sport in North America without a current or former openly “gay” player, which some say is a product of a toxic or hypermasculine hockey culture that keeps players in the closet .

By clicking the subscribe button, you agree to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails or any newsletter. Postmedia Network Inc | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

article content

In 2021, Luke Prokop became the first player signed to an NHL contract that gained publicity, garnering widespread support, including from around the NHL. He even received a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Riding the wave of this rainbow euphoria, many proclaimed that hockey culture had changed and that the issue of homophobia was a thing of the past.

Not so fast.

When Flyers hockey player Ivan Provorov refused to wear his team’s colorful Pride jersey before the game, he cited his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs as justification and boycotted the warm-up skate -up of the team before the game, but later returned to play in the game to play.

advertising 3

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

article content

Perhaps his answers are not surprising, given that Russia has stripped away human rights and actively targeted LGBTQ+ people at home and abroad, with President Vladimir Putin curtailing rights LGBTQ+ in his annexation speech that sparked the war on Ukraine cited as motivation. As a result, some have questioned whether Russian-born players will be allowed to play in the NHL, citing Russia’s ban from many international sports tournaments.

Provorov’s boycott has rocked the NHL. What happens when pride meets protest? Many fans and sports commentators quickly called for a series of sanctions against Provorov and the Flyers for letting him play, including a $1 million fine, the player’s bankroll and even trading with him.

advertising 4

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

article content

Some experts have suggested that Provorov’s actions undermined his team, his teammates, and the integrative values ​​of the NHL. Others cited Provorov’s behavior as a reminder that hockey culture has not changed significantly and that much more needs to be done in terms of education, outreach and authentic partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations if meaningful change is to occur.

While rainbows are important visible signs of progress and support, we know from many real life examples outside of hockey that they are not enough. Hate crimes continue to increase and openly target LGBTQ+ communities. The recent deadly attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs is a tragic and sobering reminder of what is at stake. Human rights are much more than just a game.

advertising 5

This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

article content

What do we do now? Much has been said about the need for hockey to change from a culture that has tolerated sexual abuse, violence, misogyny and homophobia. Perhaps an answer is clear, and what Provorov will not like to hear is that pride cannot be removed, and the protest of the few has never paved the way for social change for the many. Progress towards inclusion and human rights has never been a straight line. Sometimes it felt like two steps forward and one step back.

Ice hockey is not for everyone right now, but maybe one day it can be if we really try.

Kristopher Wells is the Canada Research Chair for Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth at MacEwan University and Editor-in-Chief of the international LGBT Youth Journal.

Share this article on your social network

    Display 1

    This ad has not yet loaded, but your article continues below.

    Source: edmontonjournal.com

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.