Ilya Kovalchuk's Comments Will Not Be Forgotten When He Wants To Come Back To NHL

By Nick Villano
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest stories of the Olympics unfortunately has nothing to do with sports at all.

It has to do with the preposterous Russian law that bans the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”. It was reported that there were threats that any person who was identifiably gay would be arrested on the spot. There is no need to be naive and think that there are no people in the world that feel this same way, but to go public with it is a different story.

Ilya Kovalchuk has come out and publicly and backed the law.

“I agree, of course,” said 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.”

You agree of course, and then you use the words “free world”? This is clearly an athlete who should think before he speaks. I understand that your home country has put this law into effect, but this is one of those subjects that can cause an entire section of people to turn on you instantly.

Sidney Crosby came out earlier this week and spoke against the law. He didn’t say anything to denounce Russia, just that he wanted equality for all players. He wanted any player to be allowed to play, no matter their race, creed, religion or sexuality.

Sports is supposed to transcend everything else. If you are a Vancouver Canucks fan and you’re with other Canucks fans, that is all that matters when it comes to sports. The only discrimination that exists is if someone roots for a rival team. These kinds of topics keep coming into sports, but they shouldn’t.

It is clear that Kovalchuk plans on one day coming back to the NHL. He is already on thin ice with the way he quit on the New Jersey Devils. These comments don’t go away when people are already looking for reasons to hate you.

There are sure to be a large percentage of sports fans that are indeed gay. Even though sports usually transcends everything, it must be hard for someone of “non-traditional sexual preference” to root for this guy if he ends up playing for their team. Kovalchuk dug himself a large hole with his most recent comments, and this one may end up keeping him in Russia for longer than he expected.

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