Hockey star John Tavares did a pretty awesome thing for a bullied 11-year-old fan.
Jake Lotocki is a fan of the Islanders star and cheered for the team when they played in Winnipeg last week despite the fact that Tavares wasn't there due to an injury he suffered at the Olympics. The Islanders lost and Lotocki was jeered and bullied by Jets fans in the MTS Centre.
Jake's mother, Sue Lotocki, wrote a letter to the Winnipeg Free Press about the abuse that he endured during the game.
"The tone changed when the Jets lost to the Islanders -- my son became a target. As we tried to make our way through the crowds, there were taunts and even profanity. My son, the great little sportsman that he is, kept walking and ignored the jeers -- until a man ran up to him and shouted in his face "Boo! You suck! Go home, loser!,'" wrote Sue Lotocki.
Fortunately, many hockey fans rallied around Jake, with many offering him their support and one fan even offering the young fan game tickets, reported the Winnipeg Free Press. But the best surprise came from Lotocki's idol Tavares, who heard about the boy's story and called Islanders management and got them to send the boy a signed jersey.
“It’s quite impressive that somebody who was just Jake’s hockey hero turned out to be a true-life hero for him. He really appreciates him making the effort to reach out to Jake in that way. It means a lot to him,” Sue Lotocki told the Toronto Sun.
Jake might even get a chance to meet his hero next year when the Islanders return to Winnipeg. CBS Sports says the team wants to invite the boy and his family to a pre-game skate the next time they're in town.
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