The San Jose Sharks are hosting Pride Night at SAP Center Saturday, but their goalie will not be included in the celebration.
James Reimer announced on Twitter he will not wear a pride-themed warmup jersey before the game against the New York Islanders.
Reimer cited his religious beliefs.
“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,” he said via the team’s Twitter account. “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.”
Reimer’s decision seemingly goes against the night’s theme, but the Sharks said in a separate statement they “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 Sharks tweeted on Saturday they will “offer information and facts about LGBTQIA+ topics” instead of “our normal game content” throughout Saturday’s contest.
“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.
“Hockey is not for everyone until everyone is comfortable playing, working, or being a fan of this incredible game.”
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