NHL Fans Rip Washington Capitals For Allegedly Banning Signs Referencing Ukraine At Games

NHL Fans Rip Capitals For Allegedly Banning Signs Referencing Ukraine

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  • NHL fans are not happy about a rumor concerning a policy the Washington Capitals appear to have instituted at Capital One Arena
  • A viral photo suggests the team is banning fans from bringing in signs referencing Russia or Ukraine
  • More cool stuff here

Ahead of Tuesday’s showdown between the Jets and the Canadiens in Winnipeg, a Ukrainian men’s choir was invited to perform a rendition of the country’s national anthem in a moment of solidarity following Russia’s invasion of its neighbor to the south.

The conflict is a particularly hot-button issue in the hockey world thanks to the number of NHL players who hail from Russia. Last year, Rangers star Artemi Panarin found himself at the center of a smear campaign after criticizing Vladimir Putin, which put him at odds with fellow countrymen like Semyon Varlamov and Alexander Ovechkin, who have previously expressed support for the autocrat.

Last week, Ovechkin skated around the issue a bit when he issued a statement condemning the violence while neglecting to distance himself from the person who sparked it. It’s safe to say the Washington Capitals public relations team hasn’t exactly had an enjoyable couple of weeks, and now, they’ve found themselves dealing with another headache courtesy of a picture that’s circulating online.

On Friday, a photo that was allegedly sourced from the handbook given to employees at Capital One Arena made the rounds thanks to a new addition that suggests the venue recently updated its guidelines to specifically ban any signs with a reference to Ukraine or Russia.

It appears the addendum was included to reinforce a preexisting ban on any messages deemed “political,” and contrary to what some people have erroneously stated, Ukrainian flags will still be permitted according to ESPN‘s Greg Wyshynski.

It’s also worth noting its unclear where the picture originated and that its authenticity has yet to be verified; given the amount of misinformation that’s circulated since the start of the conflict, the veracity of the claim should be taken with a  grain of salt (as of this writing, neither the Capitals nor their PR team has issued an official statement concerning the policy).

With that said, that hasn’t stopped plenty of hockey fans from operating under the assumption it’s real, and they have not been shy about ripping into the franchise and suggesting possible workarounds.

The Capitals will face off against the Kraken in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night, and I have a feeling there will be plenty of blue and yellow on display in the crowd.