UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Home Ice

Evgeni Malkin: Having a gay teammate would be "no problem"

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh PenguinsEvgeni Malkin may have gone to the Russian playbook for handling the gay rights question. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

With training camps opening around the league yesterday, it was only a matter of time before reporters tracked down the NHL's Russian players and asked for a take on the gay rights controversy stalking the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin, arguably the biggest star who is not yet on the record, managed to skirt the issue, saying he didn't feel comfortable discussing the topic because English isn't his primary language.

It made for a lousy dodge. After all, it doesn't take a nuanced understanding to say "Yes, I'm in favor" or "I'm opposed."

He did, however, offer a response when a reporter asked if he would have a problem playing with a gay teammate.

"No, no problem," he said.

So maybe it wasn't a dodge so much as a canny play. Malkin avoided offering an answer to the tough question that would have offended either his homeland or his adopted home, and instead threw out a bone to tolerance. It'll be interesting to see if this becomes the playbook moving forward, at least for the Russians playing in North America.

More Home Ice

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again