Bay Area LGBTQ+ community responds to San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer refusing to wear Pride-themed jersey

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — The San Jose Sharks took to the ice Saturday night in jerseys in colors supporting the LGBTQ+ community, but goaltender James Reimer declined to participate, citing his Christian beliefs.

The video in the media player above is not related to the current story. The ABC7 News Bay Area 24/7 streaming channel lets you see the news throughout the day.

“In this specific instance, I am personally choosing not to endorse something — sexual identity or orientation — that is based on the Bible which I consider the highest authority in my life,” the 13-year-old veteran said. years in the NHL. “I struggled with that because I know the initial reaction to posting a statement like this or showing up for warm-ups and not wearing the jersey can be offensive or slap in the face.”

“What he believes has hurt our community throughout history and it’s hurting us right now,” said Suzanne Ford, executive director of San Francisco Pride. “The San Jose Sharks themselves should mean inclusion because it’s here in the Bay Area and the people of the Bay Area support the San Jose Sharks.”

MORE: Here’s why ‘Drag Race’ producer star says anti-drag laws won’t work

The San Jose Sharks said in a statement, “…we also recognize and accept the right of individuals to express themselves…as an organization, we will not give up on supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Fans also weighed in, including San Jose board member Omar Torres who was there for the game.

“I am very disappointed that James Reimer has decided not to wear the Pride jersey,” he said, pointing to the hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country. “The LGBTQ community is under attack. They’re vilified and dehumanized, and it’s such a shame he’s not wearing the shirt tonight.”

LIST: These 36 Republican senators voted against a landmark bill to protect same-sex marriage

“Honestly, I think it’s fair to choose. He can do whatever he wants. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but if that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do. TO DO.” said Sharks fan Jordyn Perez.

“I believe it’s his right to express his beliefs and opinions however he wishes if he’s not aggressive or angry about it. Not wearing a shirt shouldn’t be that bad,” he said. added another fan, Ben Krainbrink.

But Ford says not putting on the Pride-themed jersey sends a dangerous message.

“We’ve suffered under fire from people who think and act like that. And we’ve been scared of it. I know it’s kept me in the closet, and I’m not going to put up with it,” Ford said. “I’ll meet him wherever he wants to talk about it.”

If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button