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HomeNewsJames Reimer of San Jose Sharks not wearing LGBTQIA+ Pride jersey

James Reimer of San Jose Sharks not wearing LGBTQIA+ Pride jersey

SAN JOSE — James Reimer will not participate in the San Jose Sharks’ warmup tonight as he says the Pride-themed team members plan to wear the jerseys to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community, which goes against his personal religious beliefs.

Reimer, a devout Christian, said he came to the decision earlier this week.

The Sharks organization announced a host of activities centered around their Pride Night celebration earlier this week, including wearing warm-up jerseys with specific decals and patch artwork designed to show acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Reimer, who is not scheduled to play Saturday when the Sharks host the New York Islanders, will not participate in the team’s usual pregame warmups.

“I understand what the message is. I think people are trying to support the community and I’m sure people in the community feel marginalized,” Reimer said Saturday afternoon. “So it’s people who want to go with them in a public way and support them. To me, that’s what you want to do to some extent, you want to love them.

“But what I’m saying is where it intersects for a Christian and the way I personally and the people close to me in my life interpret the bible is that you love them but you can’t change the activity or lifestyle not support.”

Kurt Weaver, chief operations officer of the You Can Play project, said he was disappointed with Reimer’s decision.

“Religion and respect are not at odds, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason not to support our community,” said Weaver’s statement. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any party jersey worn, is not about an athlete’s personal feelings; rather the team’s communication that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

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The You Can Play Project’s mission, which has been working with the NHL for 11 years, according to its website, is to “ensure the safety and inclusion of all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes.”

In the well-chosen words of Brian Burke, “In other words, as disappointed as I am, it’s important that people realize that these are minor setbacks in my opinion, in terms of where we are now versus where we were 12 . years ago. And I don’t think anyone should lose sight of that.”

The Sharks said in a statement: “Continuing a long-standing commitment to allying with the LGBTQIA+ community, Sharks Sports & Entertainment is extremely proud to host our 2023 Sharks Pride Night. This week’s events, culminating in tonight’s game against the New York Islanders, reinforce our organization’s values ​​and commitment to providing an inclusive, welcoming and safe environment for all guests in each of our locations.

“As we promote these standards, we also recognize and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how and whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of cause or subject.

“As an organization, we will not hesitate to support the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to form active alliances.”

Check back later for updates on this developing story.



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