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Healing through hockey

Senators and Devils come together at center ice/Getty Images
Senators and Devils come together at center ice/Getty Images

A nation recovers through the help of sports

What a week this country has had.

In the aftermath of the Ottawa tragedy, the sports world has definitely stepped up in the nation’s capital’s honour.

NHL teams around North America honoured Corporal Nathan Cirillo, singing the national anthems for both countries regardless of the teams playing. It was a great sight to see, the sporting world coming together for a fallen soldier, yet where was the MLB’s tribute?

I know that the league has a lot on its plate with the World Series going on and all; yet, why couldn’t they take a few minutes for at least a moment of silence?

I’m not trying to criticize the Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals, or the San Francisco Giants, but we all know how much it impacted this nation, just take a scroll through any twitter feed and we could see the aftermath of Cirillo’s death.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, the sports world all gathered together and helped honour the fallen marathoners and innocent bystanders at that event, but this whole ordeal does have a different impact.

Cirillo was in uniform. Cirillo was honouring other fallen soldiers and was gunned down while on duty. It’s sickening and so disrespectful that it has this country still in mourning, even a week after the fact.

The sporting community is so closely knit these days, that it almost seems like an obligation that honouring a fallen soldier. When the Boston bombings happened, the tributes came pouring in and the team ended up winning the World Series later that year.

This time around, the Senators were honoured by teams around North America in the NHL but the reaction wasn’t as great. Do the American franchises in other sports not hold Canadian troops to the same degree as their own?

It very well could be true, yet they really shouldn’t. There was a man in uniform that was killed on Canadian soil while honouring another fallen member of our troops. The least these franchises could have done was support not only Ottawa, but also Canada as a whole.

What if the same attacks happened in Washington, D.C.? What if one soldier was murdered in a U.S. Navy uniform?

These questions, although they should never be answered, are pretty significant points to ponder if such an attack should happen in the future.

Anyway, enough with the negative venting, it’s time for the positive healing that this nation has been doing throughout the sporting community.

The Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils game played in Ottawa on Saturday was truly special. When sports meet public issues, the results are almost always positive. The photograph and videos of the pre-game ceremony with both teams surrounding the neutral zone faceoff circle was truly touching and says a lot about the respect these professional players have for the men and women that fight for our everyday freedom.

As the year drags on, we shouldn’t forget about this event. We should remember this in a positive way and continue on knowing that these professional athletes do care about the cities and nations in which they play in.

As a Canadian, we should all be proud of what the Senators and the Devils did. It’s about respect. And with their tribute, that is exactly what they were able to do.

About Brady Lang

Former benchwarmer and full time sports junkie with a passion for broadcast journalism. I’ll talk sports with anyone, even if you’re a Yankees fan!