NHL players Eric and Marc Staal decided to skip a pro-LGBT “Pride Night” event by the Florida Panthers. The players are brothers, and both play for the Panthers. According to reports, the brothers declined to participate in a pregame warmup where players wore pride-inspired uniforms. The Staals made this decision because they felt participating in the warmup would have gone against their Christian beliefs.
Proud to wear these beauties tonight.
Love is love.
🎨 by Teepop pic.twitter.com/KYynQNi7nl
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) March 23, 2023
Eric and Marc Staal released a statement explaining their decision, which has been received well by many fans who are tired of forced virtue signaling in professional sports. The statement, shared by Tim Reynolds, said:
“After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear a pride jersey tonight.
“We carry no judgement on how people choose to live their lives, and believe that all people should be welcome in all aspects of the game of hockey.
“Having said that, we feel that by us wearing a pride jersey it goes against our Christian beliefs.
“We hope you can respect this statement, we will not be speaking any further on this matter and would like to continue to focus on the game and helping the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup.
“Eric and Marc Staal”
Just a week ago, San Jose Sharks goalkeeper James Reimer took a similar stance, citing his religious beliefs to explain why he would not participate in this team’s pride event. According to The American Tribune, he 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 Crhist who died on the cross for my sins and, in response, asks me tolove 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 conviction which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life. “
The NHL is becoming a focal point in the battle against the social radicalization of America. While many players in other leagues go along with the countless slogans and pride nights that their teams promote, NHL players are holding fast to their beliefs. Ivan Provorov was another player who, earlier this season, declined to bastardize his Christian faith to wear a pride patch on his uniform. These players are a glowing example that there are still Christians who live their lives in the public eye that are not afraid to stand up for themselves.
As these examples become more prevalent, there will have to be a discussion within the NHL about how to handle them. Currently, the league treats these cases as team issues and does not meddle in the choice that the players like Marc and Eric Staal made. As long as that is the case, the NHL will continue to grow in popularity in the parts of America where God is held above all else.
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