You may not believe this, given how often it is I have to do it, but I hate repeating myself. This post is essentially identical to this one, from January: same issue, same pandering, power-abusing sports league (the NHL), same awards (Ethics Hero and A “Bite Me!”), same despicable news media coverage; different team (the Sharks in place of the Flyers) and different player (Sharks goalie James Reimer replacing the Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov…during the game against the Islanders,).
As in the case of the Flyers two months ago, the Sharks hosted a Pride Night (what someone’s sexual activities have to do with hockey and why they are something to be proud of remains a mystery to me), and announced that, in addition to offering silly LGTBQ+ themed, “Great Stupid”classic items like these…
…during the game against the Islanders,and promoting it with pandering blather like this…
…the team also committed its players to wearing special pride-themed jerseys during pre-game warm-ups. Well, you can’t do that, not ethically. It’s compelled speech by an employer with a threat of negative consequences for any employee who doesn’t comply. I would (and have) refused to go along with such edicts as an employee in the past even when I happened to agree with the sentiments I was ordered to endorse.
Like Provorov, the Sharks goalie declined to be pushed into endorsing something he chose not to, stating,
“For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian — not just in title, but in how I choose to live my life daily. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins and, in response, asks me to love everyone and follow him. I have no hate in my heart for anyone, and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness. 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 in my life,”
He should not have been placed in a position where he had to make such a statement. (I would have preferred to see a shorts statement about compelled speech and political endorsements in general, but that’s just me.)
Predictably, and just as in the case of Reimer, the Woke Borg, Mainstream Media Division, attacked. One hockey writer described Reimer as “absolutely a homophobe” and beclowned himself by writing, “Here’s also what I believe, Jesus would unequivocally love and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. He’d be the first to wear a rainbow.” Another sports writer wrote that Reimer is “hiding behind the Bible to refuse to endorse gay people having rights and existing.” A bit less mainstream, a newsletter about sexism in sports spat out, “Under the umbrella of disingenuous bullshit, you can fuck right off with this statement. If you truly believed the queer community is welcome in hockey, you’d wear the shirt. You do not get to have it both ways. Jesus is not impressed.” More assumptions about that well-known hockey fan, Jesus of Nazareth!
The NHL and the Sharks are the ethics villains here for putting their players in this position.
The NHL and the Sharks are the ethics villains here for putting their players in this position. The Sharks tried to both double down and weasel out, issuing this: