WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Capitals and Monumental Sports & Entertainment released a statement on Tuesday in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Washington spoke out against Russia and condemned the nation’s actions. The team also voiced its support for their Russian players and families:
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Washington Capitals join the National Hockey League in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the loss of innocent life. We urge and hope for a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible,” the team wrote in a statement. “The Capitals also stand in full support of our Russian players and their families overseas. We realize they are being put in a difficult situation and stand by to offer our assistance to them and their families.”
Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov are the current Russian players on the Capitals roster. Aliaksei Protas, who is from Belarus, is currently playing with the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Ovechkin previously spoke out on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine back on Feb. 25, just days after the nation invaded Ukraine. He asked for no more war and a peaceful resolution.
“How I said, my family over there. Of course [we] pay attention what’s happened out there. I don’t want to see nobody get hurt, nobody get killed. How I said, hope it’s going to be over, and we going to be living in good world,” Ovechkin said, adding, “Please no more war. Doesn’t matter who’s in the war. Russia, Ukraine, different countries. I think we live in the world, like we have to live in peace and great world.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Ovechkin Speaks On Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine
The NHL has condemned Russia as well, as have multiple organizations across the globe. CCM recently stopped using Ovechkin and Russian players in its marketing campaigns. Also, MassMutual pulled its ad featuring Ovechkin and teammate Nicklas Backstrom. Ovechkin has also faced criticism due to his past support for President Vladimir Putin.
General manager Brian MacLellan spoke on Ovechkin and how the Capitals captain is faring amid the news with his wife and two sons still overseas. He said the team is talking to him, as well as their other Russian players, to support them.
“He’s a good person, he’s an emotional person and he takes things personally,” MacLellan said. “I think he’s been put under an incredible amount of pressure. For us, it’s about how do we support him. He’s been the face of our franchise and the face of hockey in this area. His family has grown up here, his kids are from here, and because of his status, he’s put in a hard situation to probably handle… it’s really hard for him. We talk to him. He gets pressure from all sides — from North America, from Russia, from family, from a lot of different people, and he tries to sort it out. So we try to support him.”