Russia’s newly enacted anti-gay laws have been the No. 1 topic of conversation as the country prepares to host its first Winter Olympiad.
The laws, which ban ”propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” and outlaw gay pride rallies, have largely been met with varying levels of disapproval by international winter sports athletes.
On Monday, however, former New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk became the most prominent Olympian to openly support his homeland’s legislation.
“I agree, of course,” Kovalchuk told TSN (via SI.com). “I’m Russian and we all have to respect that. It’s personal and, like I said, it’s a free world, but that’s our line. That’s our country, so everybody has to respect that.”
Fellow Russian All-Star Pavel Datsyuk shared a similar opinion without being as blunt, saying “I’m Orthodox, and that says it all,” when asked about the laws last week, while Alexander Ovechkin avoided the issue altogether (“Our job is to play,” he said. “I’d rather spea