During last week’s Islanders and Jets game, eleven year old Jake Lotocki was heckled and ended up in tears. What would be tragic for Jake, ended up with a bit of a silver lining.
Nine years is what Jake waited. From when he was nine until eleven he had been an Islanders fan but never had the chance to see them. Being from Winnipeg, Jake’s family knew that they would be a bit of a target when they purchased tickets to see the game. Even so Jake wore his favorite jersey, John Tavares.
Jake was able to endure most of the ribbing and the profanity the Winnipeg fans would yell at him, it wasn’t until after the game when things changed. A man ran up to Jake out of nowhere and yelled in his face. In tears, Jake took off his jersey and bundled it up so people wouldn’t see it.
In Toronto rehabbing with a season-ending knee injury from Sochi, Tavares read about Jake’s story online on Monday night. Immediately after, Tavares told the team’s director of communications, Kimber Auerbach that he wanted to do something for Jake.
The city of Winnipeg has also responded well after hearing about the incident, offering tickets to games. The best part is Jake will be getting an autographed John Tavares jersey and the team wants to invite him to a pre-game skate the next time they are in Winnipeg.
What was a bad turn of events for Jake Lotocki ends up alright because of some good people. Jake should never have had to deal with this in the first place but there will be some good in all of it. What I make of this whole situation is, Winnipeg has to start living up to its reputation “friendly Manitoba”.
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