Canadian Government Tells Hockey Players in Russia, Belarus To Leave

The Canadian federal government recently sent a notice to hockey teams traveling to Russia and Belarus to leave as soon as possible. toronto sunThere are 48 Canadian hockey players on the Continental Hockey League roster, 44 of whom play for Russia and Belarus (the remaining 4 play for Kazakhstan).

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, and Canada supported Ukraine early on since the war began. The Canadian government gave her $626 million in military aid and $320 in humanitarian aid. “Our government is very clear: Canadians should avoid all travel to Russia and Belarus. canadian press“If they are in Russia or Belarus, they should leave now. Our ability to provide consular services could be severely limited.”

The ongoing conflict could lead to a situation similar to the imprisonment of US WNBA player Britney Griner. Maria Popova, according to an associate professor of political science at McGill University in Quebec, there are real threats to players. “Anyone in Russia is at constant risk of being framed, imprisoned or used as a pawn by decisions of local and central governments and others,” Popova said. “I think something like what happened to Britney Griner could happen. In the case against Canadian players, the same playbook can be repeated.”

Griner was detained in Russia on February 17, shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine. But Popova added that although there are risks with players playing abroad, there is no clear reason why Russia would choose to detain more players. It doesn’t matter, I don’t understand why Russia would want to use these people as pawns,” Popova said. “There is absolutely no hope that Russia can change Canada’s policy in Ukraine. They know that Canada is firmly in NATO and clearly supports Ukraine.”

Adrian Blanchard, spokesperson for Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie, said: CBC.ca Players must explain why they chose to remain in Russia and Belarus. “president [Vladimir] Putin’s war in Ukraine is a war against freedom, democracy, and the rights of Ukrainians and all peoples, which will determine our future,” Blanchard said. “Athletes who have decided to play and partner with Russia and Belarus should explain their decision to the public.”

Alberta-based player agent Richie Winter manages three players currently in the Continental Hockey League. In his opinion, players have every right to continue to earn a living.

“We live in a world where individuals are allowed to make such decisions. And are there any players who have wrestled with the decision? Yes, of course,” said Winter. “At the end of the day, they are husbands and fathers who are responsible for their families. Sometimes it leads people to the Kazakhstan oil fields, sometimes it leads to the KHL.”

Ann NBC news coverage He shared that since March, players often compete in Russia because they can earn four to five times their US salaries. Ketra, a professor of sports management and director of the Center for Race and Ethnicity in Sport at the University of Michigan, quotes Mr. Armstrong in his words: “It’s a sad situation in many ways, but it’s not entirely beyond our comprehension,” said Armstrong. “The amount of money athletes can make in other parts of the world is unbelievable and almost easy to think of, depending on how good you are and the attractiveness of the market as a whole.”

The National Hockey League (NHL) tests their players for THC drugs, but CBD is allowed.Rather than being penalized for cannabis use, the NHL is giving players Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

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