United Airlines says flights now avoid Russian airspace
As the violence in Ukraine escalates, athletes and sports organizations around the world are responding.
Here are some examples of how the sports world handles conflict.
Motorsport governing body suspends licenses issued to Russia and Belarus: Motorsport UK announced on Wednesday that licenses issued to Russia and Belarus had been suspended “with immediate effect”. in motorsport events. Additionally, no Russian and Belarusian symbols, colours, national flags on uniforms, equipment and cars will be displayed at Motorsport UK authorized events.
“The entire Motorsport UK community condemns Russia’s and Belarus’ acts of war in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity and support for all those affected by the ongoing conflict,” said David Richards CBE, Chairman of Motorsport UK, in a statement.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community after the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have taken place. Now is the time for the international motorsport community to take action and show support for the Ukrainian people. and to our colleagues from the Automobile Federation of Ukraine (FAU).”
NHL Senators to play Ukrainian national anthem before all home games
The Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League have pledged to play the Ukrainian national anthem before the first puck drop in every remaining home game this season.
To show his support for the “valiant efforts of the Ukrainian people,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced Wednesday that the Ukrainian anthem will be played along with the Canadian and American national anthems.
The Senators still have 13 regular season games to play. The team’s next home game will be on March 10.
“We are all Ukrainians,” said Melnyk, who is Canadian and said his parents were from Ukraine.
He continued in an open letter: “Unprovoked aggression and unnecessary campaigning, economic and social destruction of a sovereign country is indescribable and unacceptable in a civilized world.
“And, while the images from Ukraine show courage and resilience, they are also a cry for help.”
The team is committed to helping raise funds through game day raffles and using its arena for charitable causes to support humanitarian relief efforts.
The Senators shared Melnyk’s open letter on Twitter. You can read that here:
A Swiss billionaire wants to buy a famous football team from a Russian billionaire
Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss announces that he wants to buy Chelsea FC from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
In the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Abramovich announced that he is considering handing over the “stewardship” of Chelsea Football Club to the trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
“I have always made decisions in the interest of the Club. I remain attached to these values. That is why I today entrust the trustees of the Chelsea Charitable Foundation with the management and care of Chelsea FC. I believe… that they are best placed to look after the interests of the club, the players, the staff and the fans,” Abramovich wrote in a statement.
Abramovich is understood to want to retain his ownership of the club – which he has owned since 2003 – but is said to be concerned about possible British sanctions and the resulting reputational damage.
Wyss, who founded medical device company Synthes USA, says he and three others received an offer to buy Chelsea from Abramovich, but there is no set selling price.
“I have to wait four to five days now. Abramovich is currently asking way too much. You know, Chelsea owes him two billion. But Chelsea have no money,” Wyss said.
EA Sports removes Russian teams and clubs from video games: EA Sports will remove the Russian national team and all Russian club teams from FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile, FIFA online and NHL 22, the video game company announced on Wednesday.
“EA Sports stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and, like so many voices across the world of football, calls for peace and an end to the invasion of Ukraine,” EA Sports FIFA said in a statement. “In line with our partners at FIFA and UEFA, EA Sports has initiated processes to remove the Russian national team and all Russian clubs from EA Sports FIFA products, including FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile and FIFA Online. update our communities on any actions taken, and thank players for their patience while we work on these updates.
EA Sports NHL added the following additional remarks: “Following the IIHF’s suspension of all Russian and Belarus national and club teams from IIHF competition, we will be removing these teams from NHL 22 in the coming weeks. We stand by of the Ukrainian people and we join the voices around the world calling for peace.”
A Russian tennis player denounces the violence in Ukraine: Russian tennis player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova uses her professional athlete platform to condemn the conflict in Ukraine. “I just don’t want violence. All we want right now, our hearts are broken. We just want peace and love and stop the violence,” Pavlyuchenkova told CNN.
“We don’t need to be at war…right now, it’s more about our future and our life. It’s more than sports right now,” she added.
Pavlyuchenkova, who shared it feelings on Twitter, also offered his support to his Ukrainian tennis comrades. “I understand them and I feel for them and my heart is broken as much as they are. I also understand their position,” she said. “I just want the violence to stop.”