Russian leaders scoffed at sanctions leveled against them by the United States after Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea from Ukraine, but Steve Eubanks knows how to hit them where it hurts: hockey.
"You've got to hit them where they live, go for what the Russian people care about, they really care about their hockey over there," Eubanks, an award-winning sports writer, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" Friday on Newsmax TV.
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Eubanks wrote a column for DailySurge.com
on Tuesday detailing his idea, and he told Malzberg that rescinding visas and freezing the bank accounts of Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin and the 32 other Russian citizens playing in the U.S. would upset Russian hockey fans.
"If you want to have sanctions, the purpose for them is to affect the citizens in a way that the citizens put pressure on the leaders. This does it," Eubanks said.
Eubanks believes that the players themselves would then exert pressure on Putin.
"There are 33 of them and look, those guys are all very good friends with [Putin], and they would certainly get his attention if suddenly their visas were revoked and their debit cards didn't work anymore," Eubanks said.
Eubanks said a lot of people have told him his idea is crazy, but he told Malzberg that the more people think about it, the more they will see that it makes sense. Plus, it can't hurt to try a new strategy.
"The route we are going is more than useless, it's laughable, and that's why the Russians are laughing at us all the way to Kiev," Eubanks said.
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