James Reimer and the pointless exercise of forcing athletes to be social justice practitioners

James Di Fiore Mar 19, 2023

Recently, NHL player James Reimer has become persona non grata for refusing to wear alternative jerseys that are meant to support people in the LGBTQIA+ communities. Reimer cited his religious beliefs and refused to wear the jersey, and now everyone hates him…or something.

I am under the stern belief that we should have never known his stance on this issue. In fact, none of us should ever know the precise position of an athlete’s social justice barometer, unless the athlete feels like sharing it with us.

What if the NHL were to use a different type of civil right to feature on custom jerseys? Is there an issue that a hockey player could say no to?

For better or worse, I feel like religion is the worst thing this planet has ever produced. It has poisoned our ability to be rational, and prevented humans from reaching their fullest potential.

If I was an athlete, let’s say a hockey player, and I was asked to wear a uniform that was supposed to be about freedom of religion, and the league wanted me to wear some sort of symbol that showed I was a supporter of all religions being respected, I would refuse to wear it.

I would put out a statement, crafted by my PR person as to avoid me using profanity in said statement, that would talk about my atheism preventing me from being able to support wearing a jersey that featured the symbols of everything I do not like about believing in omnipotent beings (including the rabid homophobia, by the way).

It isn’t relevant that being inclusive is the right way to go. I can make a great argument for wearing the jersey that supports all sorts of communities. But I can also make a great argument that talks about people who speak to Jesus are clinically insane, and that Islam can be quite oppressive to women, and that aspects of Judaism are rooted in hubris.

Sure, the league was just trying to be inclusive by forcing me to wear a symbol of universal acceptance of religion, but I honestly feel religion is for the weak-willed, weak-minded simpletons.

I’m a straight up theistphobe.

It doesn’t matter if you think one is OK and the other one isn’t. What matters is that the league is setting up some athletes to fail as they administer their virtue-signaling via a completely needless litmus test. Both of these examples centre around human rights. Neither of them should be a prerequisite for playing in the league, or being vilified by the media.

Let’s stop asking our athletes to give a shit about things off the playing surface. We will all be happier if we do.

James Di Fiore

Meet veteran freelance journalist, James Di Fiore. Founder of Blackball Media. A while back, James was blacklisted after spotlighting controversial stories involving some of Canada’s most prolific media personalities, editors and journalists. He started Blackball Media so that editors could no longer treat freelancers like sources. Legacy media is broken, and he's here to pick up the pieces. James is a Montreal native living in Toronto, a published children's author, political pundit (those are often interchangeable), and freelance scribe. He is also an award winning documentary film producer and a happy stay-at-home daddy. We're proud to have him, James will fit in well around here.

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