Roberto Luongo, all star NHL goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks, and his wife had a baby girl this week and it has caused a bit of a stir with some Canucks hockey fans about whether or not players should be given time off for personal events.
If you are not a hockey follower, the Canucks are in a battle for a playoff spot. Luongo is, arguably, their best player and a key element to their success. There are a few fans who are feeling a tad put out that such a key player is leaving at a crucial time of the season to be with his wife and new baby girl. To which I say – are you kidding me? This is even a question?
Obviously it is, considering some of the comments being posted in reply to the CBC website question: “Should teams give their star players time off for personal events?” Now the vast majority of comments are in support of Luongo, but there are a few that are critical.
You would actually expect someone to miss the birth of their child – his first child nonetheless – for a hockey game? This is just silly beyond belief and really shouldn’t be up for debate at all. Employees in other organizations get time off to be with their families for major life events. Just because he is a high profile, highly paid athlete doesn’t mean he should have to forgo being there for this moment.
Kudos to you, Roberto Luongo, for making what, I hope, was an easy decision. But knowing the circles you travel in and the pressure that is on you in a hockey mad world like ours at a time like this, I can’t imagine it was an easy one. You probably felt the pressure. But you’ve made the right decision.