The Washington Capitals and Capital One Arena were criticized on Friday afternoon after two fans said they weren’t allowed inside for the Caps-Hurricanes game due to bringing a Ukrainian flag.
The two fans, Anastasiia Markova and Margaryta Suvorova, are Ukrainian and work in DC. They posed with their flags outside one of Capital One Arena’s entrances after being turned away.
The Instagram Story photo was posted by friend-of-the-blog Antoinette Cordova, who was America’s Miss District of Columbia 2013.
Antoinette’s friend, Anastasiia, wrote:
Came to a hockey game wearing Ukrainian flags and were banned from the stadium. Shame!!
Per security personnel: @capitalone prohibits Ukrainian symbolics at the arena!! #shame
Antoinette added her own commentary on top of the image which read:
As many of you know I’m a hardcore @Capitals fan! Love them.
Tonight I was notified that my friends were kicked out by @CapitalOneArena for bringing Ukrainian flag.
I’ve seen fans bring flags, posters, and memorabilia to games over the many years I have attended.
This is not ok! Extremely shameful really.
The fans were then shown the following policies by Capital One Arena staff that included the text “No Ukraine and Russia signs.”
Capital One Arena, through its Twitter account, responded to the controversy by directing fans to review its security policies that allow “national flags at events so long as they don’t obstruct views or hinder game experience.” The comment suggests that the arena was distancing itself from the staff’s decision.
— Capital One Arena (@CapitalOneArena) March 4, 2022
The Capitals further clarified their policy to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski.
Confiscation of any Russia/Ukraine signs by @CapitalOneArena last night was “specific guidance consistent with arena’s sign policy” I’m told. (Attached)
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 4, 2022
The fans’ experience appears to be an isolated incident where arena security interpreted the updated policy differently than others.
During the Capitals-Hurricanes game, a Ukrainian flag was pressed to the glass during warmups next to a sign disparaging Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is unknown if the sign was later confiscated.
Seen on the glass during warmups of the Caps-Hurricanes game
— RMNB (@rmnb) March 3, 2022
A fan with a Russian flag was also spotted in his seat during the game.
Spotkanie Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes. Ochrona odebrała ukraińskie flagi kibicom, którzy chcieli zamanifestować solidarność podczas spotkania. Kapitanem jednej z drużyn jest Rosjanin. Na Instagramie ma nawet zdjęcie z Putinem. Rosyjskich flag nie zabrano. pic.twitter.com/xBlu5ZgAV6
— Paweł Żuchowski (@p_zuchowski) March 4, 2022
Meanwhile, during Monday’s Capitals-Leafs game, a fan held up a Ukrainian flag on the glass during warmups.
“In this instance, two young women and myself have come together to stand with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters as they continue to battle for freedom,” Antoinette said. “We cannot allow for the Ukrainian voice to be iced out. The hockey community has always welcomed the waiving of flags of many nations. At this time in history, the Ukrainian flag should not be banned, it should fly high as it is a testament to the freedoms we all cherish and the humanity we all share.”
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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