The San Jose Sharks are wearing jerseys in support of LGBTQ+ on Saturday night against the New York Islanders. However, goalie James Reimer is opting not to don the jersey. He released a statement in reference to his decision, citing his Christian faith as the primary reason for refusing to participate, per the San Jose Sharks’ Twitter.
A statement from Goaltender, James Reimer: pic.twitter.com/GwhWxhbmb4
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 18, 2023
“Under the umbrella of the NHL’s hockey is for everyone initiative, the San Jose Sharks have chosen to wear jerseys in support of the LGBTQIA+ community tonight.”
“For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian,” James Reimer continued. “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. 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. I strongly believe that every person has value and worth, and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.”
James Reimer isn’t the first NHL player to opt not to wear LGBTQ+ apparel. Ivan Provorov chose not to participate in a similar event in January. There have been similar instances in other sports as well.
Reimer made it clear that he believes “every person has value and worth.” However, he is “choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible.”