Fans throw fake snakes, call new Leafs player John Tavares a traitor

CBC Kids News • Published 2019-03-01 17:38

What happened when former Islanders captain faced his old team for the first time

New York Islanders fans did everything they could to send a message to their former captain when he stepped onto the ice on Thursday — including booing, yelling “traitor” and throwing plastic snakes.

This was the first time John Tavares had faced his former team since signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018.

Tavares grew up in Mississauga, Ont., and dreamed of playing for the Leafs as a kid.

So his defection to the Leafs wasn’t a total shock.

Tweet from John Tavares shows him as a kid asleep in his bed with Maple Leaf sheets. Tweet says Not everyday you can live a childhood dream.

But Tavares started his NHL career with the Islanders and stayed for nine seasons.

You might say he grew up on the team.

Which could explain why the boos almost drowned out the sound of the Tavares tribute video that played midway through the first period on Feb. 28.

Tweet from YeSUV shows fan holding sign that says A real captain would never jump ship!

It also helps explain the projectiles, including at least one plastic snake and a jersey.

Tweet from Brady Trettenero says John Tavares gets plastic snakes thrown at him in his return to New York.

Tweet from Flintor says Jersey thrown at John Tavares while he was heading down the tunnel after warm up.

Some fans were wearing jerseys with Tavares’s number on it and the word traitor — or worse — where his last name should be.

Tweet from Faizal Khamisa shows man in jersey with number 91 and the word traitor on top. Tweet reads

Tweet from Kevin Maher shows Tavares jersey with the name covered by the word Voldemort. Tweet says Tavares jersey remake: Winner!

Others made fun of the fact that Tavares used to sleep in a Maple Leafs-themed bed as a kid.

Tweet from IslesBlog shows two people in pyjama pants with jerseys that have the number 91 and the Tavares name covered by Pajama Boy and Judas. Tweet says Couple goals #Isles.

Tweet from Brady Trettenero says Ruthless Islanders fans chant

In an interview before the game, Tavares said he was ready for whatever his former fans might send his way.

He also said he was “really proud” to have been an Islander.

Tavares said the hate directed towards him now won’t change the way he feels about the team.

Get your class on the same page, add this to
Google Classroom

Do you like this story?