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Eurolanche’s stance: Ignoring Ukraine

Eurolanche’s stance: Ignoring Ukraine  The silence of the Colorado Avalanche organization in regard to the war in Ukraine is deafening.

Eurolanche, the biggest organized fan group in the entire NHL, has decided to issue the following stance in regard to the on-going war in Ukraine, which both directly and indirectly affects most members of our organization. Today marks one month since the beginning of the war.

Eurolanche is disappointed by the fact that as of now, the Colorado Avalanche organization hasn’t issued any comments on the current events in Ukraine, nor has the organization expressed their support for those affected by this international conflict or called for peace.

In comparison, the following teams have done so in various ways and forms (the list may not be complete): Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets.

Another example is Arsenal F.C., which is under the same ownership as the Avalanche (the Kroenke family), as the team paid tribute to Ukraine prior to one of their games.

Eurolanche has been publishing daily updates about current events in Ukraine via its Twitter account (@Eurolanche). So far, the Fan Club has raised more than 2,000 EUR for medicine and medical supplies for Ukrainians (most of the donations were made by season ticket holders from Colorado) and has been helping refugees pouring into the region of Central European in various ways.

Moreover, more than $1,500 has been raised so far to help 11-year-old Hassan and his four siblings, mother and grandmother. His story of how he escaped the war all by himself, how his family reunited again after fleeing the second conflict in the past 10 years and Hassan’s photos with an Avalanche hat have made headlines worldwide. Eurolanche keeps in contact with the family and is helping them to settle down in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Ukraine is a huge country and is also home to fans of the Colorado Avalanche. Eurolanche is in contact with one of them. We have publicly informed about him watching the Avalanche’s game during the night, accompanied by the sounds of air raid sirens warning about impending bombardment. We pray for his safety and are ready to help if requested.

If the sole reason for the organization’s silence is the fact that Russian player Valeri Nichushkin is on the roster, we cannot accept it. We believe that Valeri, like any other adult and rational person, stands against war. We do not blame him for the war whatsoever, nor do we generalize and throw all citizens of the Russian Federation into one bag, as we ourselves have several members in the country.

If the real reason is the Ball Corp's ongoing business activities in Russia (source: Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management), we cannot accept it either. The safety and well-being of the most devoted fans in the NHL must mean more than business plans in a country, which saw all major and credible global brands withdraw from its territory and halt their business activities there. According to various reliable media sources, the Ball Corp remains one of the major brands "defying demands for exit or reduction of activities" as of March 23. The company did not respond to one of the media's requests.

Ukraine is being bombed. Refugees are fleeing their homes and pouring into neighboring countries. World peace is being threatened. There isn’t a single Colorado Avalanche fan in Europe, who has not been impacted by this conflict. We are all in the middle of an information war as well.

Instead of ignoring this catastrophic situation, we expect the Colorado Avalanche organization to make a small gesture of any kind – nothing more, nothing less. We have been waking or staying up for late night games for years, we have been supporting the club during both good and bad times for decades, we spend our life savings on trips to the US... We believe that the club's key figures, led by Joe Sakic, have helped Ukraine in private and we fully respect and appreciate it. However, we believe that we deserve one public gesture for all of us in Europe. 

There are many inspirations. The Ukrainian anthem before a game, a Ukrainian choir, lighting up the stadium interior or exterior in Ukrainian colors, a symbolic moment of silence or just a few words of support…

We have been looking up to the Colorado Avalanche organization for decades ever since its creation. But now, we feel like we have been left completely out of interest. 

We have no doubt that there are people in the organization who think of us and care about our safety. We have received words of support from some of them privately, but we will not name them. Yet the organization's position is the only official stance. Those who were supposed to work it out, inexplicably failed.


Eurolanche.com, Worldwide, eurolanche@eurolanche.com
24/03/2022 - 15:30

Discussion

NHL on Nov 11, 2017: "Eurolanche is the world's largest Colorado Avalanche fan club."