San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer REFUSES to wear Pride Night jersey and sits out pregame warmups vs. Islanders… but insists he has ‘no hate in my heart for anyone’
San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer won’t take part in pregame warmups Saturday night, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.
Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he ‘always strived to treat everyone with respect’ and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.
‘Under the umbrella of the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone initiative, the San Jose Sharks have chosen to wear jerseys in support of the LGBTQIA+ community tonight,’ Reimer said.
‘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.
San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer said he won’t be participating in the warmup skate
‘I strongly believe that every person has value and worth, and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.’
Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.
Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.
The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.
‘As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,’ the team said in a statement.
Tonight is Pride Night for the Sharks and the team is set to wear special warmup jerseys
Reimer, who was projected to be benched, claims he has ‘no hate in my heart for anyone’
‘As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.’
The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.
‘Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,’ the organization said.
‘Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.’