Sharks' James Reimer refuses to wear team's Pride Night jersey

Mar 19 2023, 2:09 pm

During last night’s San Jose Sharks Pride Night initiative, Sharks goaltender James Reimer refused to join the team for warmups, citing a personal choice.

With the rest of his teammates donning the team’s special edition Pride Night jerseys, Reimer defended his actions as a reflection of his Christian faith.

“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,” Reimer wrote in a statement, via the Sharks’ social media. “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.”

The Sharks’ Pride Night jerseys remain up for auction until tomorrow.

The Sharks lost 4-1 on the evening, with Reimer not seeing any game action but suiting up as the team’s backup goaltender.

“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,” Reimer continued. “I strongly believe that every person has value and worth, and the LGBTGIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.”

Reimer has played 13 seasons for four teams, including the Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes.

Reimer further bungled his response to his actions following the game, when he told the media about his friendship with former Leafs teammate Nazem Kadri.

“In Toronto, Nazem Kadri as a teammate, loved him to death. I don’t know exactly the extent of his faith, his Muslim faith. But he’s a Muslim,” Reimer said. “I think you could talk to him and ask him if I treated him any different. I love him. I competed with him on the ice, we joked around, we did life together. And yet, people would understand if I wouldn’t be able to wear a Muslim jersey in warm-ups, promoting the Muslim faith, being a Christian and a follow in Christ. He himself would fully understand that.”

Kadri has yet to publicly comment on Reimer’s statements.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

+ Offside
+ Hockey
+ Maple Leafs