James Reimer, Canadian goaltender for the San Jose Sharks, has decided not to wear an LGBTQIA+ jersey to warm up on the officially sanctioned “Night of Pride” by the hockey team. Reimer, due to his selection, was left without playing in the game against the New York Islanders.
The goalkeeper, who has played 35 matches so far, motivated his refusal by posting on social media: “I didn’t want to go against my personal beliefs based on the Bible.” He continued, “I am a Christian – not just as a definition but as a life choice. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins to ask us to love and follow everyone. In my heart I have no hatred for anyone and have always treated everyone I meet with respect. In this Circumstance, I choose not to endorse anything that goes against my personal beliefs based on the Bible, which is the highest authority in my life. I firmly believe that everyone has tremendous value and that the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be embraced in all aspects of hockey.”
The Sharks acknowledged their player choice, declaring that they “accept people’s rights to express themselves, however they want and if they want to, no matter what the topic.”
However, Reimer realizes that his decision could jeopardize his sporting future: “I would be lying if I said I didn’t know. I’m sure there are people in ownership or management who wouldn’t look at my decision favourably. But at the same time, there are people who respect me for standing up for what I believe in it.”
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