If you think about what the definition of “leadership” is, many people are bound to have differing ideas. Those ideas and thoughts however will always come back to one simple base ideal; Leadership is a quality that is defined largely by a persons character and reactions when faced with adversity.
Matthew Marotta is a name hockey fans and people in general will want to remember. He is a leader.
Recently Marotta’s Pee Wee Prince George Cougars lost a game at a tournament on a disputed goal. It is the Cougars custom to take a knee at their own blue line before shaking hands with opponents. But not at this game, not with this disputed goal.
Following Coach Ryan Arnold and his angry reaction, the team headed straight for the dressing room. No knee, and no handshake.
Against his coach’s insistence, Matthew Marotta alone skated out to the blue line and took a knee. The winning Nanaimo Clippers responded just as all hockey players usually do, they skated down and surrounded Marotta in a gesture of sportsmanship and respect for his courage to stand alone and honor the game and his opponent no matter what he may have thought about the disputed goal.
If that is not an example of leadership, I don’t know what is.
On the flip side, Coach Ryan Arnold is also receiving recognition for his lack of leadership.
Amazingly, Coach Arnold is also a Prince George Mountie! The Canadian Mounties are respected world wide for their leadership and character. Well they may have just let one through the cracks this time.
Arnold has been slapped with a 30-day suspension by the Prince George Minor Hockey Association, pending further investigation, after he ordered his team not to shake hands.
Arnold has gone on to say publicly that it was a “mini protest” and that he was upset because the score clock was not working. He contends the period should have ended before the game winning goal was scored. Even after referee’s explained that two tournament officials were keeping track of the time regardless of any clock malfunctions.
Arnold has also gone on to say that he expected consequences for leaving the ice because the hockey association had to do something to “save face”. Does that sound like a leader taking responsibility?
Congratulations to the Nanaimo Clippers and Matthew Marotta for your reaction at the end of the game. That’s leadership.