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Alex Ovechkin On Team Putin Social Movement

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post,

After the Capitals’ 4-3 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night, Ovechkin explained why he decided on this public show of support for Putin.

“I just support my country, you know?” Ovechkin said. “That’s where I’m from, my parents live there, all my friends. Like every human from different countries, they support their president.”

Asked if his support of Putin means translates into a support of Putin’s political ideals, Ovechkin said, “It’s not about political stuff.”

“I don’t try to be politics man or someone like that,” Ovechkin said. “I just support my president and just support my country because I’m from there, and you know, if people from U.S. came to Russia, they care about what happening in U.S. So, I care about what happening in Russia because that’s my home and that’s where I’m from.”

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Then we have this from Jeff Blair of Sportsnet (yesterday),

My guess is Ovechkin really believes this stuff, and that he does so even knowing that the current political climate in the United States gives an element of risk to what he’s done. Ovechkin spent much of the post-election cycle attempting to maintain a public non-stance on matters related to U.S. politics and continued assertions of Russian interference. Alas, that veneer has been dropped. I don’t know who Ovechkin is an ally or enemy of in the culture war in which we are now engaged – and that’s what it is, folks, an out and out culture war where we all need to pick sides or have them picked for us – but I have a pretty good guess.

He’s still a helluva player, though, and on most nights very much worth the entertainment dollar. Look: I know for a fact there are popular – hugely popular – athletes in this city who voted for Donald Trump. Truth is, there are a lot of people who make a crap-load of money who voted with their pocketbook, and in case you haven’t noticed, an an awful lot of NFL players haven’t hitched their wagon to Colin Kaepernick’s cause and as far as I can tell few if any Major League players took up with Bruce Maxwell or NHL players J.T. Brown.

I hate to tell you this, but it’s possible that your favourite athlete is a misogynist or a homophobe or racist even if he doesn’t put it on a t-shirt. More to the point: I can guarantee that even if you’d cross the street to avoid a Trump supporter, you’ve gone crazy and cried for and died with a player who voted for Trump and that you’ll do it again next season and the season after and that you’d do it even if you knew he gave money to Trump.

Because you’re a fan and unless you are gullible enough to still believe there’s some sort of moral or spiritual underpinning to professional sports, some sort of life-changing intrinsic goodness to be found in it, you understand the meal satisfies your need without knowing each individual ingredient.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, vladimir+putin

Comments

Chet's avatar

biggest idiot ever. go play in the K, scumbag.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 11:41 AM ET

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What you have to understand is the Ovie’s a bit dim.  Helluva hockey player but not too smart.

Posted by dwgs on 11/03/17 at 11:53 AM ET

Chet's avatar

yes. and he should go back to russia. *#$%@& him.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 11:56 AM ET

Chet's avatar

now. today. get lost. guy makes millions playing in this country and shits all over it supporting the dictator at home who has no respect for our democracy. he should be waived and deported. *#$%@& him.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 11:58 AM ET

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Yes well Russia has a lot of friends in Washington these days… <ducks and runs away>

Posted by dwgs on 11/03/17 at 12:00 PM ET

Chet's avatar

i hope to see some #8 jerseys on the ice this year at caps home games. i hope they don’t win another game with him on the team. i’m more happy than ever he has never even sniffed a cup or a gold when it matters.

*#$%@& ovechkin.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 12:07 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

My concern is less what his support says about his feelings about the US, and more about what it says about his feelings towards his fellow countryman who deal with Putin’s abuses on a daily basis.

My guess is that having family still in the homeland puts pressure on him to toe the line, but who knows.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 11/03/17 at 12:16 PM ET

Paul's avatar

That is what I am thinking Hoot… he certainly could not say no, I won’t endorse him.

I am interested if any other well-known hockey players, both here and in the KHL do the same thing.  If they do, we know it is more than a social movement, if not, well we will know more about AO.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/03/17 at 12:18 PM ET

Chet's avatar

he should go home.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 11/03/17 at 12:30 PM ET

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If I still had family over there, where there’s a disproportionate amount of “falling out of window” deaths I would probably walk that line pretty carefully. I think it’s hard to judge him when the safety of his family is a possible factor.

Posted by RussianRocket10 on 11/03/17 at 04:28 PM ET

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I both get why he might feel pressure as a super-high-profile star playing arguably
his country’s national sport..and I find the comparisons any US journalist makes to what AO says about Putin support for virtually if not literally any US politician utterly ridiculous.

And the reason it’s ridiculous for any US journalist to do that is due to it’s utter lack of proportion.

...and because AO and those he loves could seriously be hurt by Putin.

Not quite the same thing as saying: your favorite athlete might be somewhat ignorant or intolerant.

My roommate is from a small town outside of Moscow. She moved here eleven years ago.
The rest of her family is still there.

Here is how she described why Putin has such a total grip on her native country:

“Because he kills people.”

She also said that when she goes back to visit she completely zips her mouth and does not say a single even slightly controversial word.

If you want to do anything there, pursue just about any opportunity, you had better pony up whatever is asked. And if you can no longer pay or you step out of line or become a threat to someone, you disappear…without a trace and without any consequences. Culturally, she’s still quite Russian - and there’s no reason not to be proud of that. But they way she describes the government there and it’s culture of complicity and fear is scary stuff.

Posted by Lefty30 on 11/03/17 at 08:19 PM ET

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Sorry…first paragraph is a bit of a mess.

Meant to say: any comparison by a US journalist between AO’s stated support for Putin
and any US athlete’s support for virtually if not literally any US politician is completely
ridiculous.

On the one hand, because OA and those he loves could face enormous pressure and consequences back home. What’s going to happen to an athlete in the US - Twitter attack? A bunch of people call you names on social media? Not fun, but no comparison.

The utter lack of proportion in comparing any US politician to Putin is stunning.

Posted by Lefty30 on 11/03/17 at 08:27 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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