San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer has kicked up quite the controversy on Saturday night.
Earlier in the day the Sharks announced that they would be holding their special 'Pride Night' event, and they went one step further by indicating that they would be showing support for the LGBTQ community through their social media during tonight's game between the sharks and the New York Islanders.
This has now put the Sharks in something of an awkward position given the personal decision made by Reimer not to participate in the event, with Reimer refusing to wear the 'Pride Night' jersey in warmups.
Following the decision by Reimer, the Sharks issued a second statement regarding their 'Pride Night.'
Of course the decision was Reimer's and not the Sharks' and although he has every right to make that choice he has also chosen to explain his actions to the public at large. Following the second statement from the Sharks tonight, Reimer has now issued his own public statement regarding his controversial decision:
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 - 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 the 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 the others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.