SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento Kings player Alex Len is calling the Russian attack on Ukraine a tragedy and urging Ukrainians to "hold on."
Len made the statement in an Instagram post Thursday along with Toronto Raptors forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
"A great tragedy befell our dear homeland Ukraine. We categorically condemn the war. Ukraine is a peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to decide their own destiny. We pray for our families, friends, relatives and all the people who are in the territory of Ukraine. We hope for an end to this terrible war as soon as possible. Dear fellow Ukrainians, hold on! Our strength is in unity! We are with you!" Len and Mykhailiuk say in the post.
Len and Mykhailiuk are the only two Ukrainian players in the NBA.
Sources told ABC10's sports reporter Sean Cunningham that Len has family members in Ukraine.
Before Thursday's game between the Kings and Nuggets in Sacramento, both teams joined arm-in-arm in support of Len. They had a simple message to share: "No war."
Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops and tanks from three sides in an attack that could rewrite the post-Cold War security order.
Ukraine’s government pleaded for help as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ignored global condemnation and cascading new sanctions as he unleashed the largest ground war in Europe in decades, and chillingly referred to his country’s nuclear arsenal.
He threatened any country trying to interfere with “consequences you have never seen.”
Len was the fight overall draft pick in 2013. According to his team bio Len was born in Antratsit, Ukraine.