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Russian Hockey Star Ilya Kovalchuk: 'I Agree' with the Anti-Gay Law


This morning I posted a couple of reactions from Team Canada's Sidney Crosby and Shea Webber to questions at about Russia's anti-gay law at a weekend press conference.

Crosby and Webber both disagree with the law, but at least one former NHLer, now a player in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is toeing his country's line, reports.

Said Kovalchuk when asked about the draconian Russian law:

“I agree, of course,” said Ilya Kovalchuk. “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.”

Meanwhile, more of Team Canada has weighed in:

“It’s hard to go into a country that supports something like that,” said Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. That said, he’s not in favor of boycotting the Games. “I don’t think that would do any good. I think it would cause more problems than it would solve. But I think it’s an opportunity for athletes to get together and support a cause that I think a lot of us really have a passion for. And I think we can do lot of good for it.”

Said Sharks veteran Dan Boyle, “I don’t agree with [the laws]. I just don’t agree. I think, gay or not, that shouldn’t change anything. Not a big fan of that.”

“I was part of that ‘You Can Play’ campaign, and I know a lot of guys who are going to be on Olympic rosters,” said Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos. “It’s a little uneasy with what’s going on over there, but there’s a lot of time and I think things can change.”

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  1. Man, I don't know if it's poor translation but these people just sound like utter morons every time they open their mouth on this.

    Posted by: denizo | Aug 26, 2013 7:33:52 PM

  2. mm, no, we don't have to respect that.

    Posted by: gomez | Aug 26, 2013 7:39:59 PM

  3. "everybody has to respect that"

    Not in the least. I don't respect any country's discrimination against women, and I certainly don't respect Russia's discrimination against LGBT youth.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 26, 2013 7:44:36 PM

  4. Ha...A free world to express Russian propaganda, but not a free country to express truthful sexuality. Some great Russian intellectual--borscht for brains.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Aug 26, 2013 7:52:32 PM

  5. The vast majority of Russians do.

    Posted by: JMC | Aug 26, 2013 7:55:28 PM

  6. >> That’s our country, so everybody has to respect that.”

    HA! LOL. It was a different story when they were trapped under communism, wasn't it?

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | Aug 26, 2013 8:05:01 PM

  7. I really don't blame him. The people are under suppression too. Putin has managed to regress Russia back to the point where, if you disagree, ramifications, in some aspect, will follow. Look at the group "Pussy Riot"!

    Posted by: CB | Aug 26, 2013 8:25:52 PM

  8. Just because you are Russian dosn't mean you have to agree with all Russian laws.This guy sounds like he would march with the skinheads during their attacks.

    Posted by: gb | Aug 26, 2013 8:32:16 PM

  9. Nazi maggot

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 26, 2013 8:37:19 PM

  10. There is no doubt that Russian laws and most Russian people are homophobic. Their homophobia should be loudly condemned. At the same time the even more homophobic nations of Africa and the Caribbean should be even more loudly condemned. Just because racists like HAGATHA point it out doesn't make it untrue. Those of us on the left have to recognize the evils of homophobia in Africa and the mostly Black Caribbean nations or we have no credibility. Unless you recognize a problem, you can't hope to solve it.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 26, 2013 8:57:46 PM

  11. I think LGBT Russians think IT IS THEIR COUNTRY TOO. No, we don't have to respect anti human rights laws or behaviors or tyrants. With that criteria all kinds of crimes can be committed against minorities and they will tell the outsiders "these are our ways, keep silence while we do what we want inside our borders".

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUTH | Aug 26, 2013 9:14:40 PM

  12. Either he has drunk the Kool-Ade or Pootsie's boys threatened/paid him to say this. Or he's another Russ thug with deeply conflicted sexuality and social issues. Whatever, he's largely irrelevant to the issue and discussion.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Aug 26, 2013 9:22:14 PM

  13. he's required to respect the new law, or lose any hope of continuing to compete as a russian athlete.

    of course, i always look towards athletes from repressive governments to form my opinions on human rights, just like i look to beauty pagent contestants during the q&a...

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 26, 2013 9:41:24 PM

  14. It's easy to call him a jerk when it's not YOUR life on the line.

    Posted by: Meah | Aug 26, 2013 9:46:29 PM

  15. I chalk up a lot of the anti-gay moves in russia to Putin's ridiculous need to project himself as macho. All those stupid shirtless photos of him in the great outdoors...
    If he were a few inches taller maybe he wouldn't be such an insecure ass.
    He's 5'7", and the only guy he'd tolerate as president (Medvedev) is 5'4".

    Posted by: woody | Aug 26, 2013 9:49:30 PM

  16. no, ilya kovalchuk, we DON'T have to respect your country's brand of bigotry and hatred. in fact, i'd say we have to DISRESPECT you guys as much as possible until you figure it out.

    Posted by: alguien | Aug 26, 2013 10:30:35 PM

  17. The Russian community in Weho ain't so happy about "the gays" either.

    Posted by: John | Aug 26, 2013 10:50:21 PM

  18. too many pucks to the head.

    Posted by: m | Aug 26, 2013 11:24:12 PM

  19. too many pucks to the head.

    Posted by: m | Aug 26, 2013 11:24:13 PM

  20. @ ANDREW: yes, we should protest homophobia wherever it rears its ugly, ignorant head. But Russia gets extra condemnation now b/c the Olympics are about to be held there and they are trying to be part of Europe.

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 26, 2013 11:46:37 PM

  21. "Draconian" "Draconian" Who came up with that? They were honest. On here you'd think everyone was of the same mind. From reading these comments you can tell most have no clue about just how homophobic the real world is. Defending anti-gay views as "ugly" or "Ignorant" can't defend itself.

    Posted by: MB | Aug 27, 2013 12:07:07 AM

  22. And I guess the rest of the world should have respected Germany's laws against Jews.

    Posted by: Eddie | Aug 27, 2013 12:30:34 AM

  23. Cool it. It's nowhere near that.

    Posted by: MB | Aug 27, 2013 1:15:01 AM

  24. @DAVID R. I agree with you on that.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 27, 2013 3:17:01 AM

  25. I take it that this extremist bigot Ilya Kovalchuk will be barred for life from re-entering Canada because of this suppport for fascist persecution of gay people?

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 27, 2013 3:53:11 AM

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