Editor’s note: This is another short piece about Ukraine and Ovechkin. Unlike last time, it’s light on political opinion and condensed history, but if you don’t want any politics in your sports, feel free to skip over this one. All opinions in here are my own.
NHL media day went a bit off-topic today as the press asked Alex Ovechkin about the controversial photo he shared late last month. Speaking with Craig Custance of ESPN, Ovechkin said, “I don’t try to make a statement.” He was speaking about the photo of him literally holding a statement in front of his chest.
“I just don’t want a war,” Alex Ovechkin said, just two weeks after holding up the Kremlin-coordinated slogan used to justify its war in Ukraine, while wearing a “no war” shirt.
It’s only the latest convolution of this nearly incomprehensible story.
Ovechkin says the photo above, in which he holds statement in front of his chest, is not trying to make a statement.
Ovechkin continued, “Nobody wants a war…I have lots of friends up there. The people who live there, they don’t want war.”
Alex Ovechkin seems sincere in his explanation, which makes his involvement in this campaign all the more baffling.
To recap, Save Children From Fascism is a social-media campaign promoted by the Russian government commenting explicitly on the situation in Ukraine. Protecting the children, the Kremlin argues, justifies its military adventurism. Ovechkin is one of several Russian celebrities who have been involved in the campaign.
Ovechkin said of the Ukrainian people, “They just want to have a good life like all of us.”
Ovechkin’s empathy for the people of Ukraine is clear. But his opinion on the complicated political situation in Ukraine is not clear. His decision to become the face of Russia’s propaganda campaign is even less clear. And now this explanation of that involvement is just downright mystifying.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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