Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk Made Great Gesture Supporting Fan

By David Miller
ottawa senators
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

There are times when things appear to be dark during this day in time. Sometimes the power struggles of those in power seem to dampen the human spirit. These things happen on lesser scales than governments as well like at Maple Grove Elementary in Lachine, Quebec. The students were allowed to wear Montreal Canadiens jerseys on the day of game 1 between the Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators. At least one student named Keila Penner, a Senators fan, decided to wear her favorite jersey instead. What happened next went from ridiculous to amazing.

Penner was asked to go to the office where she was told she had to change out of the Senators jersey into a normal shirt. How absolutely absurd is that? They give the kids “permission” to wear a jersey for one day but it has to be a certain one? What about home or road jersey? Did it matter which? I wonder how detailed they were with the note they sent home. Penner is a part of a family that is diehard Senators fans so she wanted to show that. Oh the horror of a girl choosing to wear a different jersey on Canadien jersey day! Wow!

So, since she decided not to comply with their cute little demand, you guessed it, they sent her home. I’ll pause a second while you absorb how dumb this was. Okay, now on to the good part of the story. Penner didn’t sit home upset for long because Senators owner Eugene Melnyk got wind of the situation and decided to do something about it.

He sent tickets for the entire family to see the game from his box at the arena that night. As if that wasn’t a cool enough prize he sent a limo to take them to the game and bring them back home. How great of Melnyk to use the resources he has to turn this ridiculous situation into an awesome display of what humanity can be. I don’t think I’m overstating this either.

A young girl wore the jersey she wanted to wear because it only made sense to display her opinion. It wasn’t like she brought a death-metal band with her that shot flaming bow and arrows around the school campus. It’s a stinking jersey! Penner knew she had the right to an opinion and she is absolutely correct. The fact that she is a human being gives her that right and I applaud her for exercising it.

Then for her and the entire family to get rewarded for just being people the way people should be, is just a perfect way to end this story. How dare a group of school suits tell a girl she must change out of a specific jersey on jersey day. Maybe officials of that school district and pretty much all of the rest of them need to focus on; oh I don’t know, teaching school instead of policing exactly what children wear. Bravo Keila Penner and Eugene Melnyk! You are both champions of the human spirit on this day.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.

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