In a recent NHL game, it appeared that New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal tripped Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. As the refs prepared to call a tripping penalty on Barzal, Makar intervened and asked them not to call the penalty. The refs ultimately decided to call off the penalty, much to the surprise of the fans and commentators.
In a post-game interview, Makar explained his decision to ask the refs to waive off the penalty. He stated, “I felt pretty guilty.” Makar then went on to say he felt guilty for doing it but would have also felt guilt if he had let it slide and took the penalty.
This act of sportsmanship and fair play was met with praise from fans and media alike. Makar’s selfless decision to not seek retribution and instead give his opponent the benefit of the doubt is a testament to his character and his commitment to the integrity of the game.
While the refs ultimately made the decision to waive off the penalty, Makar’s intervention played a crucial role in their decision. It’s not often that players speak up and ask the refs to show mercy to their opponents, but Makar’s actions remind us that sportsmanship and fair play are still valued in the fast-paced and competitive world of professional hockey.
In a league where every advantage is coveted and every call is scrutinized, Makar’s decision to put the integrity of the game before his own personal gain is a refreshing reminder of the values that make sports such an important and enjoyable part of our lives.
The funny part of it all is that Makar then went on to say “I don’t plan to do that ever again.” I am sure that if it was playoffs, Makar certainly would have took the powerplay, but it’s good to see the players show some heart in a regular season game and want to keep it fair.