By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com August 26 2013 12:45 PM ET
The team captain for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who plans to compete on Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, spoke out Sunday against the nation's recently passed ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations."
"It's not something we've discussed a whole lot, though, but, for me, growing up in Canada, my view has always been that way," Sidney Crosby said Sunday at a press conference for Team Canada. "I think that everyone has an equal right to play, and I think we've been more than supportive of that. With the Olympics and the controversy around that, I think those decisions or those laws aren't necessarily something that we might agree with, I don't agree with personally ... their laws and their views, everyone's entitled to those."
Crosby's Team Canada teammate Shea Warber, who plays for the Nashville Predators, said he also opposes Russia's antigay law but agreed with Crosby that he and his teammates plan to focus on the game and bringing home the gold in Sochi.
Last week two NHL stars who are likely to compete in Sochi on Team Sweden also registered their disapproval of Russia's antigay laws.
Both Crosby and Warber are supporters of the You Can Play Project, which produces public service announcements to encourage acceptance and understanding of all athletes regardless of their sexual orientation. Last year a series of straight NHL players were among the first group of athletes to join the You Can Play Project, and in April the NHL formally partnered with You Can Play, which was launched by Patrick Burke, the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers. Patrick's late brother Brendan was a gay man who served as student manager of his college hockey team and became an activist for LGBT people in sports.
Watch Team Canada's press conference, via SportsCenter, below.