Take Town: Chicago chooses wisely, after awhile
I don’t want to get into the Ukraine stuff too much except to say that it’s extremely complicated and Russian players don’t deserve the crap they’re having to put up with all of a sudden.
Whether it’s being banned from international competition — an understandable rebuke from the IIHF, for sure — or losing out on sponsorships or being banned from the CHL draft next year, even the biggest Vladimir Putin supporters are finding themselves in situations they didn’t ask for.
That includes Alexander Ovechkin, whose support for (and friendship with?) Putin is long-standing and well-documented, including a 2014 Instagram post expressing support for the invasion of Crimea. Ovechkin initially ducked the press, taking a couple days to compose his thoughts, and then came out with a not particularly impressive media availability where he said, effectively, “war is bad.” No one accepted it because no one was ever going to accept it unless he said he renounces Putin without reservation, but that of course ignores the whole “family back home” thing most Russian players have to worry about.
So as much as various people online would like to now present themselves as War Experts and Eastern Bloc Wonks, the fact is that getting mad at individual Russians other than Putin and the people at the top of the government is probably a pretty big waste of energy. Don’t do it!
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