Saturday night, the San Jose Sharks will be the latest NHL franchise to host a PRIDE night this season. They’ll also be the latest to receive pushback from some of their players.
While some other franchises have canceled their plans to wear rainbow jerseys in order to appease the minority of players who don’t want to show support for LGBTQIA+ fans, teammates, and supporters.
The Sharks decided to move forward with their plans to wear special jerseys, even as a handful of players made it clear they wouldn’t do so.
Goaltender James Reimer is one of the players who won’t be wearing a PRIDE jersey on Saturday, and he shared a statement about why on social media.
A statement from Goaltender, James Reimer: pic.twitter.com/GwhWxhbmb4
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 18, 2023
While many biblical scholars have noted that thinking homosexuality is a sin is a misreading of the Bible based on mistranslations and recontextualizations, Reimer said he won’t be wearing the jersey because it is “counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible.”
Plenty of people around the NHL expressed their own convictions about Reimer’s reasoning afterward.
“So welcome them by wearing a Pride jersey: that is what it is for. I believe James is a kind person; this is a gap in that kindness,” said Bruce Arthur.
So welcome them by wearing a Pride jersey: that is what it is for. I believe James is a kind person; this is a gap in that kindness. https://t.co/ibU8Ykd6K1
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) March 18, 2023
“Yes, Jesus specifically preached against rainbow patches on hockey uniforms, it’s in the Bible,” wrote Kennedi Landry.
yes, jesus specifically preached against rainbow patches on hockey uniforms, it's in the bible https://t.co/c5x3JboCJj
— kennedi landry (@kennlandry) March 18, 2023
“The LGBTQIA+ community should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey…just not by me,” wrote Russell Steinberg, lambasting Reimer’s statement.
"The LGBTQIA+ community should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey…just not by me" https://t.co/dxVATxh4jN
— Russell Steinberg (@Russ_Steinberg) March 18, 2023
“When you hate the gays more than you love Jesus,” wrote Phillip O’Connor.
When you hate the gays more than you love Jesus. https://t.co/940PxaiObw
— Philip O'Connor (@philipoconnor) March 18, 2023
The Sharks also said on Saturday that they will “offer information and facts about LGBTQIA+ topics” instead of “our normal game content.”
“Our hope is that this content will serve as a reminder that there are issues more important than goals, highlights, and wins,” the team said in its tweet.