We Are All Guilty

Attribution to All-Pro Ree ls from District of Columbia

The is Ivan Provorov. He is a defenceman for the Philadelphia Flyers. He has been with the Flyers since 2016. He is also one of the alternate captains for the Flyers, giving him leadership responsibilities. Earlier this month, he boycotted a pregame skate where the team was wearing Pride themed equipment that was later auctioned off, in support of LGBTQ causes. Provorov, after the game, went in front of the media and defended his actions by stating that he is very religious. He is of the Russian Orthodox faith. He stated that,

“I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say”, 

He has been mercilessly attacked since then. Pundits from the sports world and news media in general have decried his actions as shameful and that he either be fined, suspended or even kicked out of the league completely. The twitterverse has been just as brutal with Provorov. He has been accused of being a bigot and a homophobe. In addition, the NHL has been attacked for not levying any penalties on Provorov.

This is not going to win me any friends. But, in this particular instance, I am not ready to make judgement on Ptovorov, just yet. I am not going to get on my high horse here because I am just as judgemental as the next person. But, I don’t know Provorov from Adam.

We all remember Colin Kaepernick takoing a knee during the National Anthem, in 2016. Though the NFL won’t say so, Kaepernick was blacklisted. Even though he was talented, he never played in the NFL again, following the 2016 season. Many NFL players followed Kaepernick’s lead in following years. We all remember, also, Donald Trump, in 2017, referring to players who kneeled during the National Anthem, by saying the following,

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

Who the hell is Donald Trump to judge? Then again, many on the right would say, and, are saying the same thing about those judging Provorov. One can say “it is not the same thing!” Maybe.

It has been said that Provorov, in his leadership role, surely caused dissension with his team, by his actions. John Tortorella is the coach of the Flyers. He claims that Provorov did nothing wrong. He claims that Provorov discussed this with the team prior to his actions. Then again, Tortorella wants it both ways. Back during the Kaepernick controversy, Tortorella stated that if any of his players took a knee, they would stay on the bench all game.

in defense of my antipathy, back many years ago, I was in a workplace where we had a Jehovah’s Witness secretary, My cubicle was right beside hers. We had some discussions on her faith. In all honesty they gave me nightmares. Her rationale just freaked me out. Many sleepless nights. She was a true believer. Her faith was unshakeable

Is Provorov a true believer or is he a bigot and a homophobe? I honestly don’t know.

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