Russian NHL stars receive ‘worrying levels of abuse’ – agent – RT Sport News

NHL insider claims Russian-born stars have faced threats in past week

Agent representing many Russian-born NHL players says many are targeted by what he calls “worrying levels” of abuse in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dan Milstein, who was born in Kyiv but is now a US citizen, represents about 75% of Russian and Belarus players in the league, including Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy, and says they are “discriminated” because of the military campaign currently taking place in Ukraine.

“The discrimination and racism that these Russian and Belarusian players are currently facing is remarkable., Milstein told ESPN.

“We go back 30 years. I have players who call me, parents who call me. They wonder if they’ll be able to play, if they’ll be safe.

Milstein also counts the Calgary Flames’ Nikita Zadorov as a client, the Moscow native who has made his opposition to the war clear on social media, and Milstein says that has made him a target of online harassment.

“While some of my clients can speak freely in the safety of being in North America, their families could be watched at home and anything could happen., he said.

“I’m a proud American, so I’m asking, let’s unite. My childhood home is bombed as I talk to my friends back home. I haven’t slept for six days because it’s such a difficult time. But people are going after the wrong crowd. I can speak on behalf of my clients: they want world peace like everyone else. They are not treated like that.

Milstein added that one of his clients was branded a “Nazi” and told to return to Russia in public this week.

“He was shouted at, ‘Go back to your country’, and he was called a Nazi and other words, Milstein said of Player Anonymous.

“Customers are treated like Nazis. People wish they were dead. They are human beings. They are hockey players. These are guys who contribute to our society, pay millions of dollars in taxes to support the United States and Canada, and do all kinds of charities back home. Stop thinking of them as aggressors. stop being racist.

Earlier this week, the NHL issued a statement condemning Russia’s role in the war in Ukraine, while also suspending operations with business partners in Russia and shutting down the league’s Russian social media accounts.

Milstein added that the wave of sanctions Russia is facing from the West will likely hamper the careers of young players hoping to make their way into the NHL.

“Some hockey executives have already expressed concern in the upcoming draft whether these players will ever be able to get out. [of Russia] and play, and some of them worry about public opinion when certain players are drafted, said Milstein.

“I try to understand the teams, and of course public opinion matters, but that’s pure discrimination. And these are the lives of young men that we’re talking about. Innocent young men who are now being punished.

“I have several owners and general managers in these leagues who tell me they don’t agree,” Milstein added.

“But they also tell me that they can’t say it publicly because of fear of public opinion..

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