Ivan Provorov of the Philadelphia Flyers did not take the ice for a pregame skate Tuesday due to the team wearing Pride-themed jerseys and using hockey sticks wrapped in rainbow Pride tape, citing his religious beliefs.
“I respect everybody and I respect everybody’s choices,” Provorov told reporters after the game. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion. That’s all I’m going to say.”
NHL PLAYER SCOLDED FOR SKIPPING PRIDE EVENT LAUNCHES DEBATE OVER FORCED ACTIVISM: ‘I THINK IT’S RIDICULOUS’
Provorov’s decision has led to an outcry by many in the media, with one NHL analyst advising him to go back to Russia and “get involved” in the conflict between the country and Ukraine.
Early Friday morning, SpaceX founder and Twitter CEO Elon Musk responded to a quote tweet of a video posted by Outkick founder Clay Travis.
The video shows the comments made by NHL analyst E.J. Hradek suggesting Provorov should leave the country.
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“The pendulum has swung a bit too far,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Musk was responding to a quote tweet of the video which said the gay movement had gone from calling for equal rights to “go f***ing die in a trench war if you don’t wear a pride shirt!”
Hradek’s comments were made on Wednesday’s edition of “NHL Now.”
“Ivan Provorov can get on a plane any day he wants and go back to a place where he feels more comfortable, take less money and get on with his life that way if it’s that problematic for him …” Hradek said. “If this is that much of a problem for him, to maybe assimilate into his group of teammates, and in the community and here in this country, that’s OK. Listen, you can feel any way you want. But the beauty is, if it bothers you that much, there’s always a chance to leave, go back to where you feel more comfortable — I understand there’s a conflict of sorts going on over there, maybe get involved.”
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On Thursday, Flyers head coach John Tortorella defended Provorov, saying he had no concerns that the controversy would impact the locker room.
“Provy did nothing wrong,” he added. “Just because you don’t agree with his decision, doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Ryan Morik contributed to this report