SUNRISE — Florida Panthers veterans Eric and Mark Stahl didn’t come out to warm up with their team Thursday night in protest of the team’s Pride Night.
The two brothers mentioned religious differences in making their decision.
Both are expected to be in the lineup on Thursday, however, when the Panthers host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Panthers said any player who did not choose to wear the jersey would have the right, but would not warm up before a game.
Every other member of the team participated, including goalkeeper Sergey Bobrovsky.
Last week, former Florida goalkeeper James Reimer refused to wear a San Jose Pride jersey, saying it went against his religious beliefs.
“As an organization, we decided — and rightly so — to move forward with it, support it, and celebrate it,” Florida head coach Paul Morris said of wearing special warm-up jerseys for Pride Night.
“Teams all over the league and players all over the league, they have a right to their opinion, we have a right to ours. But I’ve seen the sweaters. They’re great looking, and it should be a great night tonight.”
Panthers are Auction of warm-up shirts – Signed by the player who wore it – With the benefit of the money collected you can play.
Neither Eric nor Mark Stahl wears a T-shirt on the auction site.
The Florida Panthers wear their warm-up jerseys for Pride Night
In a joint statement, the Stahl brothers said they are “no judge” of “how people live their lives.”
From the statement: “After many thoughts, prayers and discussions we have chosen not to wear the Pride jersey tonight.
“We don’t judge how people choose to live their lives, and we believe all people should be welcomed into all aspects of hockey.
“Having said that, we feel that wearing a Pride jersey goes against our Christian beliefs.
We hope you respect this statement, we won’t talk more about this and would like to stay focused on the game and help the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup.
The two were expected to be made available to speak to the media after the match.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.
Panthers on deck
Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers
- when: Thursday, 7 p.m
- where: FLA Live Arena, sunrise
- TV / Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Cheetahs Streaming Radio: Sirius XM932
- Season Series (Toronto goes 1-0): Maple Leafs 5, Panthers 4 OT (Jan 17)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time Regular Season Series: Toronto leads 46-35-7, 7 encounters
- Next for the cheetahs: New York Rangers in Florida, Saturday, 5 p.m
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