Alex Ovechkin answers difficult questions about Russia-Ukraine situation
Alexander Ovechkin is one of the greatest Russian athletes to ever play a sport in the United States. The Washington Capitals star has found himself in a tough situation this week after his native country invaded Ukraine, and he addressed the conflict on Friday.
Ovechkin told reporters he is hoping for “peace in both countries” in the very near future. He was asked directly if he supports Vladimir Putin, to which he responded “he’s my president.”
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin media availability after practice in Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/y2gxFpV3CL
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 25, 2022
“I’m not in politics. I’m an athlete,” Ovechkin said. “I hope everything is going to be done soon. It’s a hard situation right now for both sides. I’m not (in control of) the situation. It’s a hard situation. I have family back in Russia, and it’s a scary moment. We can’t do anything. We just hope it’s going to be ending soon and everything’s going to be alright.”
Ovechkin has supported Putin in the past and been photographed with the Russian leader. He even cracked a joke about Putin before the Stanley Cup Finals a few years ago. That has opened Ovechkin up to some scrutiny. It’s important to remember that the future Hall of Famer has family in Russia, and he has to consider their safety.
Many athletes have spoken out against Russia since the invasion began earlier this week. Two Ukrainian NBA players issued statements on Thursday. We also saw a Russian Tennis player deliver a strong message after his match on Friday.
Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports