San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer will not attend Pride Night on Saturday, citing his faith as the reason.
The team plans to have players wear warm-up shirts “with a Sharks Pride Night-specific crest and patches designed by a local artist,” according to a team statement. Reimer shouldn’t be on the ice for warm-ups.
Reimer told reporters on Saturday he started thinking about how he would handle his decision on Pride Night last season when he was injured and skipped Sharks’ Hockey is For night. Everyone.
“There’s a bunch of teams starting to wear them and I’ve come to believe by my faith that it goes against what I believe the Bible says,” he said. . “I don’t really want to go into too much behind-the-scenes detail. But it’s something that I’ve tried to do my due diligence on and have come to the fact that the best way to defend what I believe was just not wearing the jersey and then trying to make it as affectionate and as less offensive as possible.”
In a statement, Reimer added that he has “no hatred in my heart for anyone, and I have always endeavored to treat everyone I meet with respect and kindness.
“In this specific case, I choose not to endorse something that goes against my personal beliefs which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life,” he said. “I strongly believe that every person has value and value, and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed into all aspects of the game of hockey.”
In a statement, the Sharks said they “recognize and accept the right of individuals to express themselves, including how or if they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of cause or topic.”
The team said Pride Night events “reinforce our organization’s values and dedication to an inclusive, welcoming and safe environment for all guests at each of our locations.
“As we promote these standards, we also recognize and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or if they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of cause or topic,” the Sharks said. . “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in an active alliance.”
Elsewhere in the NHL, Kings players are expected to have rainbow tape on their sticks during Saturday warm-ups before their game against the Canucks.
Reimer has shared his starting goalkeeping duties with Kaapo Kahkonen this season. Reimer has played 35 games and is 10-17-7, allowing 3.26 goals per game.
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NHL teams have struggled to deal with Pride jerseys this season. In other cases, the problem has arisen for teams featuring top-tier Russian players following Russia’s change in the country’s anti-gay laws. On March 7, the Wild dropped plans to have players wear Pride Night jerseys during warm-ups. Several players threaded rainbow-colored duct tape onto their sticks.
Rangers originally announced plans for players to warm up in Pride Night shirts in January, but ultimately did not wear them.
The NHL’s Russia-Pride jersey problem, explained: Why the Wild became the latest team to scrap plans
(Photo: Kavin Mistry/NHLI via Getty Images)