The climate around the 2014 Sochi Olympics is unique. With the host nation taking an extreme approach to anti-gay legislation, athletes participating in the games have come into focus for their thoughts on the matter. Considering the NHL Players' Association's intimate relationship with the You Can Play Project -- an organization that advocates equal rights regardless of sexual orientation -- some players have been put in a difficult position.
Many have chosen to provide no comment as a strategic approach to avoid distraction. Some of the more prominent players have voiced their opinions or, at the very least, insinuated them.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby made his views abundantly clear during the first day of Hockey Canada's orientation camp, as he voiced his disagreement with the anti-gay legislation, via ESPN.com:
"I think that everyone has an equal right to play and I think we've been supportive of that. With the Olympics and the controversy around that I think those decisions and those laws aren't necessarily something that I agree with personally ... their laws and their views."
The atmosphere around the 2014 games is seemingly going to be as big a storyline as the competition itself. Many outlets -- specifically those based in North America -- have voiced the opinion that the athletes should find someway to protest or signal that the anti-gay legislation is not acceptable.
As the games get closer, this pressure will intensify.
Considering Hockey Canada and USA Hockey won't be holding traditional on-ice sessions during their orientation camps, it seems likely that this is a subject that will be addressed at great lengths.