The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/22/13 at 02:18 PM ET
This really upsets me. As noted early this morning, Pavel Datsyuk was asked about Russia's anti-homosexuality laws--and the comments of Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbaeva--in front of a packed crowd in Moscow, while accepting the Kharlamov Trophy from Sovetsky Sport, and he replied, "I'm [Eastern] Orthodox; I think that says it all" (and the Eastern Orthodox religion as about as accepting of the LGBT community as other religions are).
I knew that Datsyuk would get flak for his remarks, but honestly speaking, while engaging in a two-hour Q and A session with almost fifty fans and a dozen media members, leaning upon his religious beliefs is as close to a "no comment" as he could've got.
Especially given the fact that he and his Russian Olympic orientation camp teammates are meeting Vladimir Putin on Friday, he was in a situation where a "no comment" would have damned him to hockey hell and would've absolutely infuriated those watching him in what was an incredibly detailed and personal setting.
So yes, he's deservedly getting ripped in the media, but what Datsyuk says in front of what was all but literally a firing squad and what he says on this side of the Atlantic are two different things. He was absolutely *#$%@& over had he said anything other than, "I agree completely," and instead, he went with, "I'm gonna lean on the religion card."
I don't agree with his comments, obviously, but whether Datsyuk agrees with them is also a good question to ask when he's not in an incredibly charged situation. At this point, context is everything, and in a situation where Datsyuk could've literally lost an Olympic spot had he not nodded his head, he nodded his head.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.