Legendary Russian ice hockey star Slava Fetisov, in Cannes with Gabe Polsky’s doc Red Army, has poured scorn on the notion that sports like ice hockey and American Football are becoming too violent.
US President Barack Obama recently told the media that if he had a son, he would, “have to think long and hard before I let him play Football.”
Former captain of the all conquering Soviet Red Army team, two time Olympic gold medal and three time Stanley Cup winner Fetisov thinks Obama is being too timid.
“Why do you ask me this question,” Fetisov responded when asked about the potential perils of his sport. “This is the man’s game…in my time, when we played, we had no shields and little protection for our heads.”
Fetisov remembered that he once received 250 stitches on his face. “In my time, there was no such thing as the doctor taking you to the medical room and putting you down on the table. They stitch you right there on the bench during the game. I remember one game in the world championships in 1977, my first one when I was 18 years old. I got cut under my eye. The doctor stitched me right on the bench and the coach called my name to go out and play. I pushed the doctor out of the way and played the whole shoot with a needle under my eye!”
What’s his advice to those worried by the threat of injury? “Don’t play hockey. Go to the ballet!”
Red Army, executive produced by Werner Herzog and Jerry Weintraub, is being sold in the market by Wild Bunch.