Every now and then, a case of the Left’s victimism-power tactic is played out where we can see it. You know the sequence:
- An “oppressed group” pleads for tolerance.
- Once tolerance has been obtained, the plea changes to social acceptance.
- Once acceptance is in hand, the group presses for mandatory inclusion.
- Inclusion having been achieved, the drive is for coerced endorsement.
- Any remaining dissidents and non-conforming institutions are hounded and punished for wrongthink.
This process is currently working itself out in the National Hockey League:
An NHL player sparked backlash after he refused to wear an LGBT-themed jersey during warmups on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov decided not to participate in the team’s warmups against the Anaheim Ducks. The Flyers were holding a Pride Night and players were expected to wear a Pride Night jersey and use hockey sticks wrapped with rainbow, LGBT-themed tape.
Following the game, Provorov told reporters he chose not to support the Pride Night theme because of his Russian Orthodox religious beliefs.
“I respect everybody. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” the Flyers defenseman said.
The attacks were immediate and unsparing. Hockey reporter Pierre LeBrun said Provorov was “just hiding behind religion.” Commentator Gord Miller said that Provorov should have been banned from the game. Canadian radio host Dean Blundell was particularly vicious, calling Provorov’s Russian Orthodox faith a “genocidal, hateful ideology.”
(Being a naughty sort, my immediate reaction to this story was “Would those clowns have attacked Provorov had he been a Muslim?” But that’s just me.)
Unfortunately, the Flyers failed to support Provorov in their statement on the matter:
“The Philadelphia Flyers organization is committed to inclusivity and is proud to support the LGBTQ+ community. Many of our players are active in their support of local LGBTQ+ organizations, and we were proud to host our annual Pride Night again this year. The Flyers will continue to be strong advocates for inclusivity and the LGBTQ+ community.”
The front office must have decided that upholding the rights of individuals to follow their consciences is just too risky today.
Professional sports has been under pressure of this kind for some time now. Most pro sports teams have surrendered, though not without a fight in every case. I predict that the Flyers will now be pressured to make a statement condemning Ivan Provorov and criticizing coach John Tortorella for supporting him. The principal pressure will be applied through the media, including social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Is this exceptional in some sense? No longer. It’s merely an illustration of the process. That process is unrelenting and surprisingly effective, even though there’s no actual muscle behind it. Were the Flyers to stand staunchly behind their player, their revenues would not be affected. They wouldn’t be excluded from league play or events. It’s highly unlikely that harassment of their personnel or physical attacks on their property would follow.
This is what a hypertrophied aversion to criticism will cost you: your manhood.