Now, this is called sportsmanship.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota high school wrestler won over the crowd with a hug that came away from the mat – and after a loss.
Instead of getting upset when he lost the 120-pound title match in the Class 3A tournament, Blaine High School sophomore Malik Stewart went over to his opponent’s dad – who is dying of cancer – and gave him a hug. The crowd at the Xcel Energy Center loved it.
“He won,” Stewart said of opponent Mitchell McKee. “He was pretty proud, and his dad was pretty proud. So I went over there and I shook his hand, embraced him a little bit, and told him to stay strong and everybody loves him.”
“I got a little teary because I lost the match, and I knew the hard times he was going through,” Stewart added. “The crowd went wild and I heard a couple people say after I did it – that was pretty classy – but I just did it straight from the heart.”
Stewart lost his own father to a heart attack when he was just 7 years old. He said he was just doing the right thing.
McKee, a St. Michael Albertville High School sophomore, told KARE-TV that he wanted to win the tournament for his father, who has just months to live. He pinned Stewart around 1:22 into the face-off in the match earlier this month.