NHL

NHL player agent says Russian, Belarusian clients facing 'disturbing levels' of harassment

An NHL player agent who represents more than 75 per cent of the league's Russian and Belarusian players said his clients are facing 'disturbing levels' of harassment over their home country's invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian-born Milstein represents over 75 per cent of players from those 2 countries

Calgary Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov, seen here in February, is represented by NHL player agent Dan Milstein. Milstein represents more than 75 per cent of the NHL's Russian and Belarusian players, and said his clients are facing harassment over their home country's invasion of Ukraine. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

An NHL player agent who represents more than 75 per cent of the league's Russian and Belarusian players said his clients are facing 'disturbing levels' of harassment over their home country's invasion of Ukraine.

"The discrimination and racism these Russian and Belarusian players are facing right now is remarkable," Milstein told the network. "My own childhood home is being bombed as I speak to my friends back home... but people are picking on the wrong crowd. I can speak on behalf of my clients: They want world peace like everybody else. They're not being treated like that."

Milstein said he is 'very grateful' that the league has followed up on ensuring the safety of Russian and Belarusian players through arrangements of extra security.

Milstein represents clients such as Nikita Zadorov, Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Ilya Sorokin. The Moscow-born Zadorov, for one, spoke out against the invasion on social media.

Milstein, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and is now a U.S. citizen, further alleged that draft-eligible Russian players are being discriminated against.

"Some hockey executives have already expressed concern in the upcoming draft whether those players will ever be able to come out [of Russia] and play, and some of them are concerned about the public opinion when certain players are drafted," Milstein told ESPN. "I try to understand the teams, and of course public opinion matters, but this is pure discrimination. And these are young men's lives we're talking about. Innocent young men who are now being punished."

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now