Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov became the target of harsh criticism last week after he refused to participate in a pre-game gay pride event, citing his Orthodox Christian faith.
However, a new report suggests that many Americans are standing behind the hockey player's choice.
According to Fox News, Provorov's jersey has sold out in multiple online stories. As of Thursday, the only Provorov jersey's that remained in stock were marketed towards women.
Ivan Provorov’s jersey is now completely sold out on NHL Shop and Fanatics with the exception of extra smalls. pic.twitter.com/qEb3qF0IIN
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 19, 2023
Fox News noted that among those lashing out at Provorov was Canadian sports Sid Seixeiro, who recently went on a rant against religious people in general.
"Nothing scares me more than any human being who says 'I’m not doing this because of my religious beliefs,'" Seixeiro was quoted as saying.
"Because when you look at people’s lives who normally say that publicly, you’d throw up at what you saw. You would throw up at what you saw," he continued.
"And I’ve seen that a million times in a lot of different ways. So don’t give me that. With respect, don’t gimme that, because no one’s perfect. Don’t feed me the religious beliefs line and all of a sudden the NHL is going to back off this," the pundit concluded.
Meanwhile, NHL Network senior reporter EJ Hradek brought up the fact that Provorov is a Russian immigrant and encouraged him to go fight in Ukraine.
"If it bothers you that much, there's always a chance to leave, go back to where you feel more comfortable — I understand there's a conflict of sorts going on over there, maybe get involved," Hradek declared.
For his part, Fox News contributor and gay conservative Guy Benson said that the attacks on Provorov are part of a growing and dangerous trend.
"There's been a journey from pursuing tolerance, which is healthy, to acceptance, to enforced celebration, to punishment and ostracizing of dissenters," he told the network.
"And I think at a certain point, it becomes unhealthy and unwelcome," Benson continued, adding, "Some of these pundits calling for suspensions, fines. I think it's ridiculous."
"I also think it's self-defeating because the whole purpose of showing solidarity and signaling your support, the point of that is to make people feel like you are embracing a cause of your own volition because it’s what you believe."