Sport Defeats Hatred 1-0 In Perfect Tribute To Christchurch
With the world in shock and mourning, sport made us feel better in two key ways.
The first way sport made us feel better this weekend was to provide an escape. That's not to say we forget a tragedy of the scale of Christchurch and just move on.
But we all need a dose of normality to process something so horrific, and sport gave us that.
The second thing sport gave us this weekend was a place to come together and contemplate. The New Zealand Warriors NRL team set the tone, throwing open the gates for free at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.
"As a nation we are hurting, and we wanted to encourage the public to join us tonight to collectively acknowledge those who have been affected in yesterday’s devastating acts," Warriors CEO Cameron George said.
"We wanted to use tonight’s match as an opportunity for the New Zealand public to stand shoulder to shoulder... We will not be deterred. Our house is your house, just as our New Zealand is your New Zealand."
In Sydney, both the New Zealand and Australian men's and women's hockey teams clashed in hockey's new Pro League. The teams linked arms for a minute's silence in Sydney's pouring rain, in one of the most moving scenes anywhere this weekend.
In the A-League match in Melbourne on Saturday night, the Victory defeated Brisbane Roar 2-1. And wouldn't you know it, Kiwi international Kosta Barbarouses scored both goals. After his first, he kissed the ground in a clear tribute to the people of his home country.
But perhaps the most touching moment of the weekend came on Friday night, in the final round of the AFL Women's regular season. The GWS Giants won, and Haneen Zreika -- the AFLW's first Muslim player, who we profiled here on 10 daily recently -- kicked her first goal.
"They got around me. They all wore these black armbands and I think it was just so beautiful," she said of her teammates.
All sport was beautiful this weekend.
You know what's really great about sport? Even though it's about defeating your opponent, about winners and losers, about us vs them, it's actually the most unifying thing in the world.
The world should learn from that.