Russian Athletes Speak Against the Invasion


Russian tennis Audrey Dublev next to his message stating “No War Please”

By Lizzy Boulos, Staff Writer

Russian athletes could face dangerous repercussions for speaking out against the war–yet, they do so anyway.

Russian tennis player, Audrey Rublev, who is ranked at No.7 in the ATP tour rankings, followed suit after his match against Hubert Hurkacz. Following his win of 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) Rublev wrote, “No War Please.” This sparked many opinions but almost everyone stood with Rublev and his comment. 

The day before this match on February 24, 2022, Rublev stated, “In these moments, you realize that my match is not important. It’s not about my match, how it affects me, what’s happening is much more terrible. You realize how important (it) is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. It’s about that. We should take care of our earth and of each other. This is the most important thing.”

Mr. Reitter a guidance counselor and tennis coach said, “Personally, I feel that the Russian athletes should be able to freely speak their mind about the Russian-Ukrainian war, without implications.”

Russian Chess Grandmaster, Garry Kasparov took to Twitter to voice his uneasiness about the war. On February 23, 2022, he responded to Oliver Carrol’s tweet by stating “This is the snake the free world nestled to its bosom, treating Putin as an ally, an equal, while he spread his corruption. Now he strikes again, proving that you cannot avoid battling evil, you can only delay it while the price goes up. Glory to Ukraine.” He has been very vocal on Twitter, posting updates and his opinions every day since the invasion.

While many agree with these sentiments they are worried that it will affect these athletes’ careers and families. As of right now, Russian individuals could be jailed for up to 15 years for intentionally spreading what the Kremlin calls untrue facts about the military. There have been no reported repercussions. 

Junior Emma Arango said, “I think everyone should have the right to speak up for what they think is right and even if an athlete is Russian, they should not get backlash for speaking against their government.”

Many worldwide sporting events have banned athletes from Russia and Belarus like the Paralympics, GAMMA, and the IBA.