Patrice Bergeron Speaks Out About the Olympics and Gay Athletes
It’s no question that the Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins have taken the necessary steps in joining the You Can Play Project and helping to eliminate discrimination in their locker rooms against gay athletes. We’ve seen the videos of Shawn Thornton and Zdeno Chara embracing the idea and supporting it. However, with the 2014 Sochi Olympics just around the corner and Russia’s struggle with gay acceptance, more and more players are speaking out about the issue. From Boston, the voice comes from an otherwise non-political Patrice Bergeron, one of the most respected men in the National Hockey League.
On Sunday, August 25, a handful of hockey players, who will be trying out to represent Team Canada in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, held a news conference with Hockey News. Players such as Rick Nash, Sidney Crosby, Roberto Luongo and Shea Weber all spoke about their feelings regarding the new law Russia passed that bans any non-traditional relationships and public displays of affection, meaning that gay-pride parades and anything showing support to same-gender relations are subject to punishment. The law even goes as far as specifying punishment for foreign citizens denying them entry into the country and/or deportation for such actions. There has been talk that athletes should boycott the Olympics to take a stand against the law, but the players don’t feel they are at that point just yet.
“I’ve heard that, too, but hopefully, we don’t get to that,” Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron said of the movement for a boycott. “The Olympics is about sports and sharing that with the whole world and having a chance to talk with other athletes. It’s an amazing experience. Hopefully, we don’t get there.
“Here, in Canada and the United States, it’s something we’re very open about and fine with. We have a program with the NHL, and it’s a subject we don’t understand why the Russian government is against. We’ll see what unfolds when we get closer to the Olympics.”(via Calgary Sun)
How do you feel about the current antics swarming the 2014 Olympics? Should they boycott or storm in and show their pride in who they are? Let us know in the comments below!