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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 20: Ivan Provorov #9 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Flyers have mostly been playing well of late. Including a win over the Ducks last night. But that win and the hat trick from Kevin Hayes were overshadowed by what happened with Ivan Provorov. Provorov did not participate in the Pre Game Warmups, because he did not want to wear the LGBTQ Pride-themed jerseys the team wore. But he still did play in the game, playing for nearly 23 minutes. After the game, Provorov cited his religious beliefs as to why he would not wear the warmup jerseys. Leaving many fans upset, especially Flyers fans who belong to the LGBTQ community.

John Tortorella joined The Best Show Ever today and they asked him about what happened. What was his response to LGBTQ Flyers fans? Does he stand by playing Provorov even though he did not participate in pregame warmups?

Here is what Tortorella had to say.

“That is his call, his beliefs. And I don’t think Provy did anything wrong. You don’t have to agree with it by any means. But I don’t think we need to force anything onto someone. It was a great night for Pride Night. Where Laughts, JVR, and the whole team other than Provy stood in there and had a great night… I thought it brought some great awareness. But Provy decided he did not want to take part in the warmup with it. I respect him for it. It’s his beliefs. People need to respect other people’s beliefs and not force their thoughts onto other people…

I thought the organization put on a good show and brought very much-needed awareness. Our team was involved in it. the crowd was involved in it. To sit on something because of one player’s religious beliefs, I don’t think is proper. Provy knew there would be blowback. We all knew there would be. But I respect him for it. He stayed true to himself.”

And he also discussed if he was worried it could impact team chemistry

I heard a few comments about dividing the locker room. This whole situation actually brought us a really great scenario after the game. We sat in there for 15-20 minutes and talked about this. Provy was very honest. Laughton was very honest. And we communicated amongst one another on how we are going to send our message. So for people thinking it divided the locker room, I look at it another way. I thought it brought us closer together. It was a tremendous experience for all of us. 

You can listen to the full conversation with John Tortorella below…