Nikita Nikitin, a defenseman playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, has told R-Sport he refuses to learn English. I don't agree with it but with three Russian teammates in Columbus I can understand his logic. Artem Anisimov, Sergei Bobrovsky and Fedor Tyutin are there to help him on and off the ice.
It probably doesn't make for any good team building exercises but I guess they get along just fine in Columbus. Russian players have always been criticized for not adapting to their new surroundings, but Nikitin doesn't see it as a big deal.
“You always hear Russian speech in the team, although because of that I should admit I don’t learn English,” he said.
“I understand everything I need to, but I can still only speak with difficulty. But there’s always guys around who give me prompts.”
Nikitin may want to rethink his stance on learning English if he's ever traded which is a certainty in professional sports.