In midst of turmoil following the new Russian anti-gay law, many players heading to Sochi, Russia for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics have made it very clear that they oppose this issue.
David Backes of the Saint Louis Blues was very against this,
As an American who believes in the freedoms that we have and the way we run our society and culture, everyone has their right to participate in sports and live their lifestyle the way that they want. I’m supportive of anyone.
I don’t care if you’re black, white, green, purple, gold, as long as you’re committed to the team aspect and the way that we’re playing you’re always welcome on my team. We don’t have to agree with everything they do and they don’t have to agree with everything we do. We’ve got our views and we’ll see how that all pans out.
Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings seemed to side with the law, bringing religion into the mix, but did not take one side or the other,
My position, I am Orthodox. That says it all.
But funny enough, Ilya Kovalchuk openly supports this issue, as he told TSN, SI forwarded the message,
I agree, of course, I’m Russian and we all have to respect that. It’s personal and, like I said, it’s a free world, but that’s our line. That’s our country, so everybody has to respect that.
As if he had not gathered so much negative publicity this summer by first retiring from the NHL to return home and play in the KHL. Then recently says winning the Stanley Cup, “remains the target” because he is, “only thirty, it is yet to come”. Finally, he agrees with a law so discriminatory as this is. Gladly he is no longer a Devil, but anyway I apologize for the rant, back to the issue.
The law Kovalchuk agrees with has been translated to English in an article by Policymic.com Here is what Article 6.21 of the Code of the Russian Federation and Administrative offenses states:
Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations.
Absolutely ridiculous. The law lays down hefty fines to citizens, organizations, and corporations. Foreign citizens violating Article 6.21 face fines, jail time, and deportation.
Sadly enough, the law was passed by the Russian Duma, by a unanimous vote of 436-0….
However, players have to set their personal beliefs aside. The 2014 Winter Olympic Games are going to have bad publicity, but for the players making the trip have to stay focused. The foreign teams cannot be worried about politics, but worried about the games and winning for their respective countries.
Protestors have already taken the streets of Sochi, and many want the games to be boycotted because of this issue. Others believe that the law should not affect the games, but Russia should not be allowed to host another Olympics until the laws are abolished.