Fans burning jerseys has become a common reaction in the sports world when a star player leaves for another team.
It doesn't happen often in hockey, but we saw it on July 1st when John Tavares announced he was leaving the New York Islanders and signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Some fans were obviously very upset with Tavares to go as far as to burn his jersey and as per Arthur Staple of The Athletic, one Islanders player had a surprising reaction to the Tavares jerseys being burnt by fans.
In exchanging texts with a few Islanders players, the reactions ranged from surprise to disbelief. I mentioned to one player that fans were posting videos of burning Tavares jerseys. “Don’t blame them,” was his reply.
A pretty surprising reaction when you consider it came from a teammate of Tavares', but him leaving is that big of a deal.
It will be fascinating to see what the reception will be like for Tavares when he makes his return to Long Island, but based on the videos we've seen and this response from a player, it might not be a good reception.
(H/T: Arthur Staple, The Athletic)