James Reimer Declines Wearing Sharks Pride Jersey
James Reimer has become the second NHL player this season to decline wearing an LGBT pride jersey. The first was Ivan Provorov of the Flyers in January. In the case of Provorov, head coach John Tortorella allowed him to play in a 5-2 win for Philly. As for Reimer, he was on the bench as a backup goalie for a 4-1 loss against the New York Islanders. Reimer himself made a personal statement on his decision not to, citing his Christian faith. You can read it below:
Let me be completely honest here. In cases of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, I am going to leave it to you to decide. I’m not going to act like I’m right and everyone else is wrong; after all, that’s what being in a free country is for. In the case of Reimer, however, this might be the highlight of his NHL career. The journeyman goalie has won 202 games in 468 appearances. Across a career that’s seen him play on four different teams, he sports a .912 save percentage and a 2.84 goals against average.
Not An Easy Situation
Is James Reimer homophobic? You have a whole statement to read through and decide for yourself. All in all, this is also probably the biggest headline of the season so far for a dreadful Sharks team. Elsewhere, the only other player worth mentioning out there is Erik Karlsson and his historically good bounce-back year. As a free agent this summer, it’s worth noting that some teams may not be interested in signing the 35-year-old after this.
James Reimer has made headlines, but not for his play on the ice. My whole reaction to this is: who’s next? I for one think there must be other players who are at least on the fence for wearing a jersey. It is a trend that I believe may not go away in the NHL.