A hockey player’s mom, Gina O’Toole, sat in the stands at her son’s hockey game as a fight broke out. She witnessed the referees on the ice doing nothing about the fight, which made O’Toole come to the realization that she had to take matters into her own hands.
“What was I supposed to do with it, throw it into the stands and say, ‘Hey, could you hold this? I have to break up a hockey fight?’” O’Toole said on “Good Morning America.” The video was posted on YouTube and it made the woman a hero amongst moms when she broke up a fight between the Boston Raptors and the Connecticut Tribe, two teams from Boston youth summer programs. No one knew the identity of the woman when the video was posted until she appeared on ‘GMA.’
“I’ve seen fights usually between one or two children and the refs usually step in immediately and break it up. That didn’t happen,” she said. “I just found myself opening the gate and walking onto the ice and saying, ‘Hey, you need to get control of this game. What are you doing?’”
“The ref turned around and he yelled at me and told me to get off the ice and I said, ‘You need to do your job,’” she said. “What concerned me was the feeling of the blows to the back of the head and a child going down the ice of maybe a potential head injury.”
Reports from the game said that some fans yelled at O’Toole to stop the fight and others in the stands yelled at her to get off of the ice and let the fight handle itself. O’Toole said on ‘GMA’ that the fans were simply watching out for her well-being.
“I was told that people were more afraid of me falling and injuring myself,” she said. “A lot of the people that were there were feeling the same feelings that I was feeling, that, ‘What is going on? This is insane. It’s gone on too long. Why aren’t the referees stepping in?’”
O’Toole did much more than the referees were able to do, as the fight began to break up once she hit the ice and the players saw her running towards the scrum. O’Toole’s son, Mark, said he was embarrassed by the incident at first but later admitted he knew why she did what she did.
“He had a second game that evening,” she about Mark. “I called my husband to come down for that game. I went home.”