Plenty of things happened during the Flyers’ 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night in South Philly.
Danny Briere came home, Claude Giroux and Michael Raffl both scored in their first game as new linemates, the Flyers bounced back nicely after they were trounced in Chicago the night before and all sorts of shenanigans broke out in Steve Mason’s crease as the final horn sounded.
But, by far the coolest thing that happened at Wells Fargo Center last night didn’t happen on the ice.
It happened during a stoppage of play late in the second period.
During the stoppage, the Flyers honored the family of Pfc. Matthew Windish of Wilmington, DE for his service to the United States with a video that played on the screen in the arena.
After the video, Bob “The Hound” Kelly presented the Windish family with a gift on behalf of the Flyers organization. The family turned around to a huge, life-sized box wrapped in Christmas paper.
The box was unwrapped and there was Pfc. Matthew Windish, packaged like a real-life GI Joe action figure to shock his parents!
Matthew spent the last year serving as a wheeled-vehicle mechanic in South Korea.
Players from both teams immediately stood up and tapped their sticks on the boards and ice in great appreciation of Windish’s service and what just occurred. The crowd gave a rousing standing ovation and chanted “USA! USA!” in unison.
I was in the building last night and I gotta tell you, it was a hell of a moment.
Delaware Online has a good read on how the whole thing was planned and exactly how it all went down.
Go ahead and try to wipe the smile off your face for the rest of the day. I dare you.
Performing artist Sevyn Streeter was scheduled to sing the national anthem Wednesday night before the Sixers' season opener but says she was replaced because of the jersey she was wearing.
Jemila Worthy, a member of the Sixers' dance team, sang the anthem instead.
Streeter says change was made because she was wearing a jersey with the words "We Matter" displayed on the front.
"I'm at the 76ers game to sing the national anthem," she said in a video on Twitter, "and the organization is telling me that I can't because I'm wearing a 'We Matter' jersey."
The Sixers responded with the following statement:
"The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community."
In the Sixers' preseason finale against the Heat in Miami, Denasia Lawrence performed the anthem while wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt and kneeling on one knee (see story). She said she did it to protest racial oppression.
Streeter is the latest to use the national anthem as a stage to protest racism and social injustice. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the well-documented movement by refusing to stand during the anthem, and various other professional athletes have made their own statements.
In a protest planned by safety Malcolm Jenkins, a handful of Eagles raised their fists during the anthem before the team's Week 2 game against the Bears on Monday Night Football.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.