Florida Panthers Staal brothers become latest NHL stars to refuse Pride jerseys

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Florida Panthers Staal brothers become latest NHL stars to refuse Pride jerseys

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Florida Panthers players Eric and Marc Staal became the latest NHL stars to refuse to wear LGBT-themed Pride jerseys Thursday.

The brothers did not take the ice for pregame warmups against the Toronto Maple Leafs after they declined to wear the jerseys for religious reasons.

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“After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear a pride night jersey tonight,” the Staals said in a statement. “We carry no [judgment] on how people choose to live their lives, and believe that all people should be welcome in all aspects of the game of hockey. Having said that, we feel that by us wearing a pride jersey it goes against our Christian beliefs.”

“We hope you can respect this statement, we will not be speaking any further on this matter and would like to continue to focus on the game and helping the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup.”

The brothers’ decision to refuse to wear Pride night jerseys is the latest in a string of NHL players and teams doing the same.

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In January, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear the LGBT-themed sweater citing his Russian Orthodox faith.

San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer came under fire Saturday after he declined to wear an LGBT-themed jersey prior to a home game against the New York Islanders, and the Chicago Blackhawks organization announced the team will forgo wearing rainbow jerseys Sunday when they host the Vancouver Canucks over concerns for player safety.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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