x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

NHL: To Habs or Habs not? On Jersey Day, Montreal schoolgirl tries to make Sens of it all

As if the Montreal-Ottawa series wasn't contentious enough, a controversy broke out after a Montreal-area school held a 'Habs Jersey Day' to show support for the Canadiens. Except 11-year-old Keila Penner, a Senators fan, wore her Ottawa jersey.

The hard feelings between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators on the ice even reached the Montreal school system.
The hard feelings between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators on the ice even reached the Montreal school system.

No one has ever equated sports fanaticism with rationality.

Not even in grade schools, apparently.

As if the Montreal-Ottawa series wasn't contentious enough, a controversy broke out last week after a Montreal-area school held a "Habs Jersey Day" to show support for the Canadiens.

When 11-year-old Keila Penner, from a family of Senators fans, showed up in her favourite "Sens" sweater, familiar craziness ensued.

Keila said she was taunted, and that her teacher told her an Ottawa jersey wasn't permitted.

The girl reportedly was told by the principal she could either change into a white T-shirt, or call her father and go home.

She went home.

The happy ending was that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk sent a limousine and played host to the family for Game 4.

Meanwhile, the debate broke down along the usual lines.

Some Canadiens fans branded Keila as an instigating troublemaker like one of the Hanson Brothers, maybe? who should have respected "Habs" day.

Most of the rest of the world favoured more tolerance in the halls of academia.

School officials said only that the decision was made in Keila's "best interest."

Her father, Cary Penner, told CTVNews, "[The school] missed an opportunity to teach a good lesson, especially about bullying."

Maybe next time, we can only hope.

 

sports@thenational.ae

 

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