Alex Ovechkin loves Vladimir Putin like Terrell Owens loves his quarterbacks.
The Washington Capitals superstar announced Thursday on Instagram that he’s launching a “social movement” in support of Russia’s president. In revealing the movement “Putin Team,” Ovechkin professes his admiration for the leader of his native country and calls on others to join him.
“Personal achievements and medals — all of this great, but in hockey, like with everything, to win it’s important to have a team,” Ovechkin’s post reads, per The Washington Post. “Only a team is capable of changing the course of a game, achieve the impossible. Lately, in the Western Press, I’m noticing a comparison to Putin’s team. And you know, I really liked that comparison. Personally, I’m ready to be a member of that team. I never hid my relationship with our president, always openly supported him.
“I’m certain that there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let’s unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team. Be a part of this team – to me it’s a privilege, it’s like the feeling of when you put on the jersey of the Russian team, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you.”
Ovechkin explained Thursday night to the Washington Post that politics aren’t his primary reason for launching “Putin Team.”
“I just support my country, you know?” Ovechkin said. “… I don’t try to be politics man or someone like that. I just support my president and just support my country because I’m from there, and you know, if people from U.S. came to Russia, they care about what happening in U.S. So, I care about what happening in Russia because that’s my home and that’s where I’m from.”
Ovechkin describes his relationship as one based on mutual respect and Putin’s love of sports.
“It’s a good relationship. He respects me as an athlete, and he respects all of the athletes who represent the country. It doesn’t matter where you play, in Russia or outside Russia. If you represent country in Olympic games, World Championships or doesn’t matter which tournament, he always have good relationship with us.”
So there you have it. Don’t bad-mouth Putin in Ovechkin’s presence.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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