The Washington Capitals condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a statement on Tuesday, marking the first time the team Alex Ovechkin plays for has said anything public on the matter. The team noted in the statement that they “also stand in full support of our Russian players and their families overseas.”
“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,” the Capitals said in a statement. “We urge and hope for a peaceful resolution as quickly as possible. 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.”
The Capitals have four Russian-born players on their roster, including Ovechkin, forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, goaltender Ilya Samsonov and defenseman Dmitry Orlov.
While it’s the first time the Capitals have weighed in, Alex Ovechkin, who has openly supported Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past and campaigned for him in 2017, made remarks regarding the situation in February.
“Please, no more war. It doesn’t matter who is in the war — Russia, Ukraine, different countries — we have to live in peace,” Ovechkin said back on Feb. 25.
The reaction from around the world of hockey to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been strong. Earlier in March, hockey equipment supplier CCM announced that they would stop using Ovechkin and other Russian-born NHL stars in their global marking campaigns going forward. Furthermore, the NHL suspended communication with the KHL on Monday.