New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin says goodbye to Russia after a politically motivated article in which his former Vityaz head coach claims the ex-Moscow club striker hit an 18-year-old girl in Riga, Latvia in 2011, reported Larry Brooks of the Post on Monday morning.
Andrei Nazarov, who is currently the head coach of KHL representative Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, has repeatedly criticized Panarin for the forward’s outspoken beliefs about the regime of Russian leader Vladimir Putin . Nazarov is a well-known Putin supporter.
« Artemi vehemently and clearly denies all allegations in this fabricated story, » the Rangers said in a statement. “This is clearly an intimidation tactic used against him in order to speak up on recent political events. Artemi is obviously shaken and concerned and will take some time from the team. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to determine the source of these unsubstantiated allegations.
In the ALhockey.ru article published on Monday and translated by The Post, Nazarov gives a detailed account dated December 11, 2011. The former Russian ice hockey player claims that Vityaz lost 2-0 to Dynamo, which Panarin didn’t do. A great game, a then 19-year-old Panarin and other teammates were out in a hotel bar when he saw “the 18-year-old Latvian to the ground with several strong blows “.
Nazarov claims that Panarin was arrested by the police before a criminal proceeding and a court case finally ensued. But Nazarov claims there was a bribe of 40,000 euros in cash to let Panarin off the hook.
The 29-year-old Russian from Korkino has spoken out openly and decisively against Putin in recent years. Last month Panarin showed his support for the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in an Instagram post ahead of the planned protests in Russia.
Panarin published a photo of Navalny, a high-profile critic of Putin, and his wife and two children the heading « Freedom for Navalny ». The post will still be on his page as of Monday.
Navalny recently sent a message to his supporters on his YouTube account: « Don’t be afraid. Take to the streets. Don’t do it for me, do it for you and your future. «
In July 2019, Panarin sat down for an interview with Vsemu Golovin’s YouTube channel and tore Putin away. It was a bombshell interview in which the finalist of the Hart Trophy 2020 – barefoot in his living room in Saint Petersburg – criticized Putin’s entire regime.
Panarin discussed Russian politics, economy and freedom of speech and drew several unflattering comparisons of his homeland the United States. He was also asked why he had supported Putin in the past.
« Because I was never really interested in politics. Never read the news, ”reads a translation from SlavaDoesAmerica.com. « I focused intensely on hockey and my progress … Besides, it’s not like I’ve crossed the [American] border and was immediately cleared up.
» It took me about two years to think, » Something is wrong [in Russia]. « Over time, I felt like I wanted to start returning [to America] at the end of the summer. »
Panarin’s public opposition to Putin is extremely noteworthy as it is An unprecedented event in Russia. North American athletes like LeBron James, Megan Rapinoe and countless others have had political talks for years. Russian athletes are expected to show nothing but loyalty to their country, which makes Panarin’s stance all the more earth-shaking. </ For comparison: NHL star Alex Ovechkin founded an entire political movement called the “Putin Team” and sold Putin-themed goods in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2018. Others in Russia Born players like Evgeni Malkin, Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Kovalchuk supported Putin himself or his politics.
The Blackhawks Nikita Zadorov showed Panarin mild support and once Panarin’s Instagram account with « thumbs up » and « fist » -Emojis commented. Panarin and Zadorov previously criticized a Russian law intended to give the government better control over the Internet, which prompted the Russian embassy in the United States to send an open letter to both NHLers.
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