At sporting events, it’s okay to mess around with and maybe heckle a little bit fans of the opposing team who come into your building. It’s tradition in Philadelphia to say something to a fan in an opposing sweater (and we’re sure to see it Saturday when the Philadelphia Flyers host the hated Pittsburgh Penguins), and just about anywhere you go.
But sometimes things go too far. For instance, it should just be a general rule that YOU DON’T YELL AT 11 YEAR OLD KIDS!
Apparently fans in Winnipeg didn’t get that memo, as they caused an 11 year old New York Islanders fan who lives in Winnipeg, to breakdown in tears and hide his jersey after attending a game between the Islanders and Jets at the MTS Centre. From Travis Waldron at Think Progress:
At the game, though, Lotocki and his Islanders jersey drew the ire of some drunk and unruly Jets fans who didn’t like that he was supporting the opponent in their backyard. The Winnipeg Sun told Lotocki’s story this week: he was so distraught by the behavior that on the way out of the arena, he wadded up his shirt — a #91 John Tavares jersey — and hid it to avoid further abuse.
– Think Progress
Absolutely awful. But you know what’s not awful? John Tavares and the New York Islander organization (at least in this sense).
Tavares learned of what happened to the boy and wanted to help. To do so, he autographed a new #91 Islanders jersey and sent it to Lotocki. He was also invited to a pregame skate with the Islanders when they return to the MTS Centre next season.
Though it’s not Flyers related, it just goes to show that hockey players do care about their fans, especially the ones who really look up to them. A simple gesture like this from Tavares will make this boy feel so much better about himself.
And this should be a warning for all fans: DON’T. HECKLE. KIDS.
Just say a silent prayer that they eventually take off their ugly jersey and turn to the good side.