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San Jose Sharks’ James Reimer says he won’t wear Pride hockey jersey


San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer will not participate in warmups on Saturday night as he refuses to wear a jersey in honour of Pride Night, citing his Christian beliefs as his reason.

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“In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority of my life,” Reimer said in a statement. The Sharks are playing the New York Islanders.

In an interview with Cory Masisak of The Athletic, Reimer said: “It’s something that I saw coming up last year” and that “the way I personally, and the people close to me in my life, interpret the Bible is you love them. But you can’t support the activity or lifestyle.”

The hockey team released a statement of its own, vowing “not to waiver in our support of the LGBTQA+ community.”

How Sharks fans react to Reimer’s decision remains to be seen. San Jose is located an hour south of San Francisco, which is widely know as the LGBTQA+ capital of the world.

Reimer is the second player to publicly refuse to wear a Pride jersey, after the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov sat out warmups for a Pride Night game against the Ducks instead of wearing the themed jersey. Provorov cited his religious beliefs in his decision and the NHL later said in a statement that “players are free to decide which initiatives to support.”

The Rangers and Islanders, and mostly recently the Minnesota Wild, also chose not to wear Pride uniforms during warmups earlier this season, despite the clubs reportedly announcing they would don the themed jerseys as part of their Pride Night festivities.

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