After the London Knights’ 7-4 loss to the Flint Firebirds on Nov. 17, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Oliver Bonk caught the attention of many on social media.
But, it wasn’t because of how he played, or anything he did in the game.
Instead, Bonk was doing an interview. The 18-year-old’s right wrist was raised high enough that his jersey couldn’t cover it, subsequently revealing a semicolon tattoo.
bonky ☹️ pic.twitter.com/NyyMniUqGT
— kay (@sepeluvr) November 18, 2023
The above tweet has been liked over 1,800 times, and has reached the eyes of 220,000 people and counting. But why is Bonk’s tattoo so important?
For those who don’t know, the semicolon represents a beacon of hope for those dealing with depression, anxiety, addiction, and other debilitating mental health issues. It’s unclear whether this is something new for the Philadelphia Flyers prospect. It does, however, provide an important reminder that hockey players – including the ones that get drafted, traded, booed, and cheered – are people, just like us.
Remembering Abakar Kazbekov
In roughly four weeks, it will be the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of former London Knights forward Abakar Kazbekov.
Kazbekov – a former teammate of Bonk’s – was found deceased on Dec. 17, 2022 when the London Police Service responded to reports of a body on a sidewalk next to a luxury apartment building. The Knights had played against Owen Sound Attack the previous night, and a spokesperson for the Police Service confirmed that Kazbekov either jumped or fell from the building.
The Moscow, Russia native was only 18 when he passed away.
Some have speculated that Bonk’s ink may be in Kazbekov’s honor, or equally representative of his own struggles in the aftermath of the tragedy. The Philadelphia Flyers‘ 2023 first-round pick was only 17 at the time.
Speculation aside, I, alongside many others, wholeheartedly support Bonk through whatever it is he might be going through, and hope that he is taking care of himself as best as possible.