LOOK. Steelers fans give Matt Petgrave a standing ovation
On October 28, American ice hockey player Adam Johnson (29) died after being hit in the neck by the skating blade of Matt Petgrave (31). Yesterday the Sheffield Steelers – Petgrave’s team – played a home game for the first time since the deadly tragedy.
Petgrave himself was not in the selection, but he did receive a standing ovation. 8,000 spectators stood up for loud applause in the Utilita Arena in minute 22 – Petgrave’s shirt number. When a photo of Petgrave appeared on the big screen, the decibels went up a bit. The Steelers fans are clear: although some, even (former) NFL players, accuse him of foul play, they support Petgrave through thick and thin. Petgrave himself has not yet spoken, but according to close sources he was “completely distraught” in the first days after the incident.
During Sheffield Steelers-Coventry Blaze, a game that ended 2-1, the victim was also honored. Before the match, a wreath was placed on the field and there were two minutes of silence followed by a minute of applause. In minute 47 there was applause again. Johnson played for Nottingham Panthers wearing number 47.
The English police are investigating. It warned that it could take some time because it is a complex file and there is no way to fall back on previous incidents of that nature. Johnson’s family hopes the investigation will be thorough. “It won’t bring my cousin back and if they don’t share the same views as me I will accept that. But the action was unnecessary and rash and cost a life. No other family should ever experience this again,” Kari – Johnson’s aunt – previously said.