Former player criticizes Ovechkin for ''hiding'' from the media

Published February 24, 2022 at 3:18 PM

Earlier this morning, reports out of New York had the Washington Capitals shielding Alexander Ovechkin from taking questions from the media related to the instability in Europe stemming from the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

In the wake of the announcement, former NHLer and Founder/Chair of the Hockey Diversity Alliance, Akim Aliu, took to Twitter and criticized Ovechkin for his unwillingness to speak.

In 2017, Ovechkin, who holds the record for most NHL points for a Russian-born player, expressed his support for home country's leader in an Instagram post and has continued to be a staunch supporter since then.

According to the Washington Post's Samantha Pell, the Capitals cited "(wanting) to keep the focus on tonight's game (with the) New York Rangers" as the reason behind Ovechkin's silence.

Obviously, Ovechkin's wife, children, parents and other family currently reside in Russia. There is some concern over the potential that saying the wrong thing or having things misinterpreted could put his family at risk back in Russia.

Under the current circumstances, I think it's probably a fair request from the Caps and Ovechkin to be given some time to prepare for questions on such an important issue.
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