Sports will help with nation’s recovery
As I have said before, sports has the power to do more than entertain us. It has the power to pull us out of whatever bad place we find ourselves in and set things right for those two hours a night when we watch.
Wherever we find ourselves, be it a breakup or a horrible day at work, for whatever reason just watching our favourite teams can restore balance to the world.
Night after night, sports does that for millions of people in every corner of the world.
What makes it better is when sports show support for us. It can help make sense of things in the darkness.
On Oct. 22, a lone gunman shot and killed 24-year-old Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a Hamilton reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada regiment. Cirillo was standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa when he was tragically killed. The gunman later entered Centre Block of the Parliament Building, where he was shot dead by sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers.
The incident shook the nation, as much of the downtown core of Ottawa was on lockdown for more than eight hours.
The Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs were set to meet later that night, but the game was postponed because of the incident. How does the power of sport tie into this? Moments after news of the shooting broke, the Pittsburgh Penguins tweeted they would play both national anthems — “O Canada” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” – before the Penguins’ matchup with the rival Philadelphia Flyers. There was also a moment of silence observed in Edmonton and Anaheim.
It was a stirring gesture from a team that has Canadian players, but is not Canadian. It was eerily similar to acts of support shown at ballparks around the nation, including Toronto, in the wake of 9-11.
Pictures from Pittsburgh show a red glow cascading over the ice with maple leaves at opposite ends of the rink.
It was just another example of how sport does more than offer a little entertainment on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. They have the power to heal.
I’m not saying the singing of one national anthem in one stadium in America will make everything go away. Of course it won’t.
But, it will help reinforce our stance as a united country.
Imagine the scene at TD Place when the Maple Leafs and Senators replay its game on Nov. 9, with the Canadian flag flying high and retired Ontario Provincial Police member Lyndon Slewidge belting out the anthem.
I would imagine you’d be hard pressed to find a dry eye in the house when it happens. We will persevere and we will be stronger. Sports will play a little part in that. Nicholas Mercer is a reporter/photographer with The Compass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be
reached at email@example.com