Artemi Panarin, the star of the New York Rangers, left the NHL team after Russia accused him of assaulting an 18-year-old woman in 2011.
Panarin is one of the few Russian athletes to publicly criticize Vladimir Putin.
The Ranger said in a statement on Monday: “Aremi Mi categorically denies any allegations in this fictional story.” “Obviously, this was an intimidation method used by him for outspokenness in recent political events. .
“Alemi is obviously shocked and worried and will leave the team for a while. The Rangers fully support Artemi and will work with him to determine the source of these baseless accusations.”
Although Panarin lives in the United States, he still has a family in Russia.
Panarin recently posted the “Freedom of Navalny” message on Instagram, mentioning Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who was imprisoned on suspicion of a false trial earlier this month.
Panalin, like Navalny, is a long-time critic of the Russian president. “The mistakes of our society are being resolved [Putin] Panalin said in 2019 that he is like a superman. He is an ordinary person like us, he is serving us…Yes, to be president, you must be smart and open-minded, but our biggest mistake is that we have no one better than Vladimir Vladimir Mirovic is better. This is nonsense. How many million people live here? There is no doubt that there are better people. “
In the same interview, Pannalin said that many Russians would regard him as a “foreign agent” because of his views, and also criticized the progress of Russia under Putin.
He said: “Thanks to the local taxes that stay in the state, American cities are developing.” “But here, a lot of money goes to Moscow, so people everywhere work for the benefit of Moscow. I always think this is unfair. .”
Panarin’s position is in stark contrast with Russia’s biggest hockey star Alex Ovechkin. Alex Ovechkin has a close relationship with Putin, and even established a sports Putin team that supports the president.
Putin is a hockey fan and has participated in TV exhibition competitions with businessmen, politicians and former NHL stars. When he appeared in a game in 2019, the then 66-year-old scored at least 8 goals with a suspiciously compliant opponent.