Hedman: 'Positive' response to his remarks against Russia's anti-gay laws
Victor Hedman was quick to point out he hasn't been the only Swedish athlete to criticize Russia's anti-gay laws, but the Lightning defenseman's statements to reporters in his home country was one of the strongest.
Now, three days later, Hedman said the response he has received has been "positive."
"Everything has been just positive from the people I know," Hedman on Monday said by phone. "It's been a big topic with everyone and as far as with friends and family, they liked the response. We just stood up for everyone's rights."
Hedman last week criticized Russia's anti-gay laws and bans on homosexual propaganda. Russia in February will host the Olympics in Sochi, and officials there have said the laws will apply to the participating athletes.
"That's completely wrong. We're all humans," Hedman told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. "No one should have a say in what way you are sexually oriented."
"The Olympics is there for a reason," Hedman continued. "Everybody should be able to participate and be themselves. Everybody should stand up for homosexual rights."
Hedman's Olympics teammate, Henrik Zetterberg also was quoted in Aftonbladet, and Emma Green Tregaro, a Swedish high jumper at the world track championships in Moscow, painted her fingernails rainbow colors to support gay rights. She said she switched to red polish after Swedish officials asked her to "respect the rules."
She told reporters she went with red "for love."
"There's going to be a buzz about it. They have their own rules," Hedman said Monday about Russia's anti-gay laws. "You can think it's wrong, but when you're there you're going to focus on the Olympics and play well in those games."
"I know a lot of people who think it's wrong. I think it's wrong," hedman added. "It's going to be a tough question for everyone to answer. But I made my statement, and that's where I stand."