Sharks admit ‘hockey isn’t for everyone’ as James Reimer refuses to wear team’s Pride Night jersey

The San Jose Sharks held their annual Pride Night celebration Saturday night. The night was supposed to celebrate diversity and inclusion in hockey, but San Jose grabbed the headlines for a different reason.

Sharks Keeper James Remer sat out during warm-ups to avoid wearing the team’s Pride jersey. Unlike other recent NHL teams facing the same predicament, the Sharks pursued promotion while their teammate remained inside the locker room.

Sharks pride jerseys featured a shark on the crest holding two sticks with rainbow ribbon inside a heart and love wins patches. The jerseys are up for auction and a portion of the proceeds will go to Adolescent Counseling Services, a charity that supports LGBTQ+ youth and families.

“I have no hatred in my heart for anyone and have always endeavored to treat everyone I meet with respect and kindness”, Reimer proclaimed in a press release. “In this specific case, I choose not to endorse something that goes against my personal beliefs based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life.”

Speaking to local media, Reimer stood by his decision, further revealing his opinion on the LGBTQ+ community.

“I, personally, and the people close to me in my life interpret the Bible if you like them, but you can’t support the activity or the lifestyle.”

In a bizarre attempt to justify his choice, Reimer opened up about his relationship with former teammate Nazem Kadri, noting that he loved Kadri, who is Muslim, despite their religious differences.

“In Toronto, Nazem Kadri as a teammate loved him to death. I don’t know exactly the extent of his faith, his Muslim faith. But he’s a Muslim,” Kadri told San Jose Hockey Now. “And yet people would understand if I couldn’t wear a Muslim jersey during warm-ups, promote the Muslim faith, be a Christian and follow Christ. He himself would fully understand that.”

But not everyone was in favor of Reimer’s decision on the team. While the sharks released a statement saying they “recognize and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves”they also pointed out that there is still work to be done to make hockey more accessible and inclusive for others, seemingly showing their disappointment with the goalie.

“Hockey is not for everyone until everyone is comfortable playing, working or being a fan of this amazing game,” the Sharks wrote.

Sharks captain Logan Couture also spoke about how important Pride Nights are to him and to the organization, distancing himself from Reimer.

“I’ve always loved these types of games,” Couture said. Designed by, “I think hockey is at its best when it includes everyone. Everyone can enjoy this amazing game we are playing. It’s really fun to play. So I think every person should have the opportunity to play.

While Reimer was absent for warm-ups, head coach David Quinn did not consider removing Reimer from the game, where he supported Kaapo Kahkonen.

The Sharks also moved forward with their Pride Night celebrations despite the negative attention Reimer received.

The team highlighted Houyee Chow, the queer artist from San Jose who designed the night’s warm-up jerseys.

During the game, the team shared facts about the LGBTQIA+ community on social media. “Our hope is that this content will serve as a reminder that there are more important issues than goals, highlights and wins,” the team said on Twitter. The evening also included partnerships with local LGBTQ+ organizations, themed lighting and music at the arena, and Pride-themed merchandise for sale.

After Ivan Provorov refused to attend Flyers Pride Night earlier this season, the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild all announced they would not be wearing jerseys. rainbow warm-up, Rangers and Wild going back on previous commitments to do so.

Brian Burke, president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins and co-founder of You Can Play, recalled the significance of Pride Night events amid the recent rise in non-attendance.

“I repeat that I am extremely disappointed” Burke said“I would like players to understand that Pride jerseys are about inclusion and welcoming everyone.

“A player wearing pride colors or ribbon is not endorsing a set of values ​​or enlisting in a cause! He is saying you are welcome here. And you are, in every NHL building .

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