Sharks players will don a special uniform on Saturday night for Pride Night against the Islanders, with the exception of one player.
Goaltender James Reimer has announced his decision to opt out of wearing the uniform, issuing a statement which the organization shared on Twitter.
Reimer, a Christian, cited his religious beliefs as the reason he does not wish to wear the jersey, indicating that he has “no hate in his heart for anyone.”
The 35-year-old is the only player on the Sharks who opted against wearing the jersey. He also plans to boycott the pre-game skate, though he'll be available to play in the game.
Sharks captain Logan Couture weighed in on Reimer's decision ahead of the game on Saturday, revealing that Reimer informed the rest of the team of his decision prior to releasing that statement.
“Every individual has a choice and he has made his. The rest of us are going to be wearing the jersey. I think this organization sees this as an extremely important night. And I think a lot of guys in the room are very excited to go out and wear the jersey and celebrate it,” said Couture, via Corey Masisak of The Athletic.
Earlier this season, Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov refused to wear the team’s Pride Night warmup jerseys, also citing his religious beliefs. The Rangers also caused some controversy in January after wearing their standard uniforms, despite indicating they'd be donning Pride Night warmup jerseys.