Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis speaks to reporters at the team’s headquarters on Wednesday, May 19, 2019, in Washington.
The Capitals defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime to win the Stanley Cup.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Washington Capitals owners Ted Leonas and Chris Hansen have expressed support for free speech in the face of the new administration’s threats against it.
The owners of the Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings have expressed their support for freedom of expression in an editorial published in the New York Times on Wednesday.
“We are saddened by President Donald Trump’s executive order on the regulation of the free expression of views on public issues, and we urge him to respect the rights of the people of the United States to express their views in the political arena,” the editorial board wrote.
“We believe that free speech should be encouraged and defended, but only if it is done with the full support of our elected officials.
We support a robust public debate on controversial public issues and believe that it is essential that our elected leaders hold accountable those who violate the most fundamental American values.””
We must continue to defend the Constitution and uphold its ideals,” the article continued.
“The Constitution does not tolerate hate speech, but hate speech is speech that is designed to intimidate, and has no place in American discourse.”
President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that requires federal agencies to report “all credible credible reports of threats against the safety or property of the public,” including hate speech.
The order also requires the Office of Government Ethics to review “all reports of credible reports” of alleged bias in federal agencies, including “any credible reports that a public official has engaged in, participated in, or encouraged the commission of bias in an agency’s hiring process.”
Leonsis, who has owned the Capitals since they bought the team in 2013, also signed an open letter in the Washington Post on Wednesday to his supporters.
“The Washington Capitals organization has a long history of standing for what is right, and with that history, we are saddened to learn that the President has announced his intent to end the freedom of speech that has been a hallmark of the team for many years,” the team said.
“There is a chance that this order could affect the lives of many of our fans, employees, and partners.”
Leonas tweeted on Wednesday that the Washington Wizards have already received a letter from the White House that included a copy of the executive order and the message, “Your Washington Capitals have not been bullied into silence.”
“This is not a time for silence.
The President’s executive orders are harmful to our great country,” Leonsas tweeted.
“Stay strong, and know that your team has your back.”
The Washington Wizards announced on Tuesday that they would host the National Hockey League All-Star Game on July 19.