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

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Friday September 13th, 2013

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.

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