Reports surface of Russian NHL players being threatened while playing in North America

Published February 28, 2022 at 11:38

With the ongoing Russian attacks on the Ukraine, there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unrest in the world. This isn't limited to just the bystanders in all of this, but even Russian and Belarusian nationals that do not believe in war.

Regardless of whether Russian and Belarusian athletes are in support of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin or in direct opposition of what he is doing, there have been reports of these athletes not feeling safe in North America.

According to TSN's Darren Dreger, via player agent Dan Milstein, Russian players who are playing in North America have been subject to verbal attacks and threats both in person and on social media.

I just spoke with [agent Dan Milstein]. He has raised concerns of «real threats» to his Russian based clients both in-person and on Social media to the NHLPA and NHL clubs with Russian born players. Milstein is asking for additional security for his players in North America.

This is very alarming, and while many or all of the threats are idle, I don't believe the NHL or the NHLPA can afford to take any chances.

Over the past week, we have heard all sorts of ideas about potentially banning Russian players from playing in North America, but it's worth noting that not all Russian athletes are in support of Putin. However, the idea of banning Russian athletes from competing in North America for their own safety is a different conversation entirely - one I don't think anyone wants to have, but one that may be necessary if the athletes' lives could be at risk.

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