NHL Stars Zetterberg and Hedman Rip Russian Anti-Gay Law

NHL stars Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning rip the Russian anti-gay law.

Aug 19 2013, 2:05am CDT | by

NHL Stars Zetterberg and Hedman Rip Russian Anti-Gay Law
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Count NHL stars Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning as antagonists of Russia's anti-gay law. 

Russia has been the center of attention in the international sports world lately as it declared its anti-gay law would apply for all athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, per Brian Manzullo of USA Today Sports. 

Manzullo stresses the law could be used as a basis to arrest athletes who show public support for gay rights and gay pride. 

Zetterberg, the Red Wings team captain who will most likely represent Sweden, described the law as "awful, just awful" when he was asked about it in an interview with Swedish tabolid Aftonbladet

"I think that everyone should be able to be themselves. It's unbelievable that it can be this way in this time, especially in a big country like Russia."

His countryman Hedman of the Lightning says the law is wrong as it restricts people's sexual orientation.  

"That's completely wrong, we're all humans. No one should have a say in what way you're sexually oriented."

An American athlete, runner Nick Symmonds, also blasted the law after he bagged a silver medal in the 800-meter competition at the World Track & Field Championships in Moscow. He even dedicated his victory to all of his gay friends in the United States, per CNN.   

"As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them. Whether you're gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there's anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested."

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the country's anti-gay law on June 30 which, according to the Associated Press via The Guardian, "is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values over western liberalism, which the Kremlin and the Russian orthodox church see as corrupting Russian youth and contributing to the protests against Putin's rule." 

Anybody who is deemed guilty of spreading "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations amongst minors" will be fined between 4,000 and 1 million rubles ($120 to $30,000).

This also includes those who hold gay pride rallies in Russia. 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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