The family of Cecily Eklund has confirmed that the 10-year-old girl experienced some “scary and negative moments” at an Edmonton Oilers playoff game in Los Angeles.
The young Oilers fan was given a “magical experience” to see her beloved Oilers on the road through the Ben Stelter Fund. It wasn’t so magical after the young fan, who is battling cancer, was spit on and sworn at, just for wearing an Oilers jersey.
“Unfortunately, while there were good parts at the game, there were some scary and negative moments for her,” the Eklund family said in a statement released through Cecily’s social media pages today. “Cecily was spat on and sworn at for wearing an Oilers jersey, and witnessed a fellow Oiler fan being attacked in the row in front of her. While this was not the magical experience she dreamed of, or the hockey environment she is used to in Edmonton, Cecily wants people to know that she recognizes that a few fans don’t represent an entire fan base, and she is grateful for the outpouring of support she has received since.”
Oilers forward Evander Kane, who has met Cecily on numerous occasions, called out the shameful act by an apparent Kings fan.
“I’m disgusted and appalled at what happened to this amazing little girl,” Kane said on Tuesday. “This type of behaviour is gross and completely unacceptable.”
Luckily, some good has come out of what was an otherwise disgusting way to treat a child.
Cecily received a standing ovation from Oilers fans at Rogers Place during Tuesday’s game, and her cancer fundraiser through the Ben Stelter Fund has received increased support. The young Oilers fan has raised over $54,045 to date, which is well past her $30,000 goal.
The fundraiser received a big boost from apologetic Kings fans, who wanted to show Cecily that the actions of one do not reflect the rest of their fan base.
“The LA Kings organization has reached out, and both Edmonton Oilers fans and LA Kings fans have come together to support her dream of raising as much as possible for the Ben Stelter Fund, in order to provide other kids facing cancer with positive magical experiences,” the Eklund family added. “Your incredible generosity and kindness has not gone unnoticed, and reflects Cecily’s heart. She wants to thank you and would like to remind everyone that when you can choose to be anything, please choose to be kind.
“We thank all the fans and media representatives who have reached out to us, but this is everything we will be saying on this incident as we refocus on kindness, positivity and raising money to help other kids fighting cancer.”
— Simply Cecily (@simply_cecily) April 27, 2023