Florida Panthers forward Eric Staal and defenseman Mark Staal did not wear their Pride Night warm jerseys before Thursday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, due to their religious beliefs.
The Staals released a statement about their decision via Panthers PR:
“After much thought, prayer and discussion, we have chosen not to wear a Pride jersey tonight.
We do not judge how people choose to live their lives and believe that everyone should be welcomed in all aspects of hockey.
However, we believe that wearing a pride shirt goes against our Christian beliefs.
We hope you respect this statement, we won’t say more about it and would like to stay focused on the game and help the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup.
Eric and Mark Stahl »
The Panthers will auction off Pride Knight jerseys to support… You can play the team The Florida Panthers Foundation will match all money raised dollar for dollar and donate that amount to the LGBTQ+ nonprofit community in South Florida.
Staal joins San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer, who declined to participate in a Pride Knight jersey warmup last week, and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov who did the same in January.
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