Our opinion: Leave it on the ice

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

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There is absolutely no question that the Austin Bruins struck gold when bringing Paint the Rink Pink to Austin.

Not only has the organization raised thousands of dollars for cancer research, the yearly event was the anchor for the effort that followed with Paint the Town Pink.

We expected no less this past Saturday night and once again the organization came through with a hefty amount of change raised for the effort, even though they came out on the losing end of a 4-2 game at the hands of cross-border rivals North Iowa. It was a competitive game with the much anticipated jersey auction that followed, which brought in $16,000.

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Unfortunately the events at the end of the game cast a shadow over an event that is meant to be a positive night of raising money for cancer research at The Hormel Institute.

Upset with some calls toward the end, a garbage can was upended on the North Iowa bench with another tossed onto the ice. Later fans could even be heard yelling at security as they attempted to restore order.

There simply is no place for this kind of behavior, at Riverside or any sporting event. Fans will forever be passionate about their hometown team, but the moment they take active participation in the event to such an extreme where a garbage can is dumped on an opposing team’s bench is more than a step too far.

The Bruins have always maintained they try to create a family experience at their games, and their fan base is one-of-a-kind, but the actions of a small percentage of a fan base can cast a large shadow that overtakes any kind of goodwill or work the team puts in.

Not only was it dangerous, as there was no telling what might be in that garbage can, it was distasteful. Things are often done in the heat of the moment, but it’s up to each individual to know where the line should be drawn.

There is no way to police an entire fan base, so the fans must take responsibility for their own behavior. The Bruins, throughout their 10 plus years in Austin, have worked to build a reputation in class. It’s a shame that a select few chose to act in a manner that would tarnish that hard work.

By all means, we hope and encourage people to continue to attend Bruins hockey games. They are an entertaining night out on a weekend, but we stress that as a fan you act in a manner that reflects what the organization is trying to accomplish.

We want to congratulate the Bruins for their continued success with Paint the Rink Pink, an event that we hope will continue forward for years to come.