So far as approval scores go, Alexander Ovechkin’s standing amongst Washington, D.C., natives is as excessive because it will get. He’s arguably the best skilled athlete to name the District of Columbia house. He’s been there for 17 seasons. He’s a 12-time all-star. He led the Capitals to a Stanley Cup title, the primary title the town gained in a loooooong time. Wayne Gretzky’s profession targets report is in sight. If he’s not the best athlete in D.C. historical past, he’s a minimum of probably the most notable.
The president of his house nation, a person he’s publicly supported, simply invaded a sovereign one. He hasn’t made an announcement on Vladimir Putin, and he wasn’t made accessible to native reporters earlier than Thursday’s recreation in opposition to the Rangers as a result of apparently he’s taking a while earlier than addressing the subject, according to The Washington Times.
His silence has not gone unnoticed.
Ovechkin was trending on Twitter on Thursday afternoon, and NHL writers weren’t the one one talking out in opposition to the Russian nationwide. Slava Malamud, a former journalist who lives in Baltimore however comes from Ukraine, tweeted accusations way more critical than merely supporting Putin.
There are a number of situations that might’ve jeopardized Ovechkin’s repute in his American hometown, and buddying up with Putin needed to be on the prime of that checklist. One would hope he condemns the violence, however talking out in opposition to the Kremlin has resulted in lack of life earlier than, and it’s solely doable he’s weighing the danger to himself and his household whereas weighing what he ought to say.
With the doable exception of former chess champion Garry Kasparov, he’s probably the most seen Russian on American soil, and one would assume a heel flip wouldn’t go over effectively in Moscow.
The American media, particularly these in D.C., are going to pry as quickly as Ovechkin is made accessible, so he’ll have to talk on it. He can declare he’s not a “politic,” however this isn’t alleged election fraud or a mysterious poisoning, it’s a full-fledged struggle. Lives are being misplaced, and his hockey companion is accountable.
Whatever the stance he takes, the selection he makes might be part of his legacy. If he stays silent, the protection turns into, “He feared for his household.” If he backs Russia, there isn’t a defending him, which is a disgrace as a result of D.C. genuinely adores him.
If he most significantly does the fitting factor and tells Putin to fuck off, the man will get the important thing to the town (if he doesn’t have it already).