It’s always nice when someone — or some group — comes forward and tries to remedy a wrong they had nothing to do with. That’s particularly true when they have the resources to really make a difference.
Enter the Washington Capitals. As noted here, after hearing the story of Maryland black hockey player Divyne Apollon II, a 13-year-old member of the Metro Maple Leafs in Maryland who faced racial abuse at a tournament in Philadelphia, Capitals John Carlson and Devante Smith-Pelly filmed a video in which they supported Apollon II and invited the entire Metro Maple Leafs squad to a Caps game next week.
In addition to 60 tickets offered up to the Metro Maple Leafs, Smith-Pelly and co. also promised to have the entire team meet the reigning Stanley Cup champs.
“We heard about the unfortunate incidents that have been taking place with Divyne, but we were so happy to see your team stand up to defend and support each other,” Smith-Pelly told the team in the video, which was also posted on the Capitals’ social media channels.
The Caps may have provided a local connection to the racial flashpoint, but they have not been alone in declaring their support for Apollon II. Earlier in the week the 13-year-old received a message of support from Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban:
Both Smith-Pelley and Subban made it clear that they would like to personally meet with Apollon II so they can share their experiences in overcoming similar hateful incidents. While it was sparked by ugly comments, the entire saga has unfolded as a living, breathing reminder of how modern social media can connect the world in positive ways that can make a difference in lives.
Now, to see what comes out of the Metro Maple Leafs’ visit to the Caps game on the 14th …