Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

All fans deserve respect

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A recent experience at a Winnipeg Jets game leads me to believe fans could use a course on respect in sport.

My 11-year-old son idolizes John Tavares. He was disappointed he wouldn't have the opportunity to see Tavares play on March 4 against the Jets, but proudly wore his #91 jersey to the game.

Upon entering the arena there was some teasing for wearing the "wrong colours," but it was good-natured and fun, and my son took it all in stride.

The tone changed when the Jets lost to the Islanders -- my son became a target. As we tried to make our way through the crowds, there were taunts and even profanity. My son, the great little sportsman that he is, kept walking and ignored the jeers -- until a man ran up to him and shouted in his face "Boo! You suck! Go home, loser!"

The night ended with me leading my crying son out of the arena with a treasured jersey balled up in his hands.

Minor hockey has received a lot of attention regarding the behaviour of spectators and fans. Is anyone looking at the big leagues? This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated in any arena, big or small.

SUE LOTOCKI

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 10, 2014 A8

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