Sidney Crosby, the 26-year-old captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins,
and Shea Weber, the 28-year-old defenceman of the Nashville
Predators, on Sunday came out against a Russian anti-gay law.
The law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in June, makes
“propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors”
illegal. Its passage has provoked an international outcry and calls
for a boycott of the Winter Olympics to be held next year in Sochi.
The hockey players made their remarks during a news conference to
kick off Canada's Olympic training camp, the Calgary
“For me growing up in Canada, my view has always been that way.
I think that everyone has an equal right to play and I think we've
been supportive of that. With the Olympics and the controversy
around that I think those decisions and those laws aren't necessarily
something that I agree with personally,” Crosby said.
Weber, an active supporter of You Can Play, the anti-homophobia in
sports campaign, echoed Crosby's views: “Like Sidney said, the way
we're brought up is different than how the Russians view it. We're
going over there to play hockey and obviously that's what we're going
to try to focus on.”
Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, agreed.
“The players have the right to speak out as they feel and we've
been in constant communication with the Canadian Olympic Committee
and totally support the stance they're making,” he said.
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, 23, added: “It's
hard to go into a country that supports something like that. As
athletes, we have to find a way to make sure we can use it to our
advantage – gay rights, especially, but human rights – to move it