If you hadn’t heard of the story of Steve Zakuani, it’s definitely one to read up on. For those that didn’t know, while playing a MLS game against the Colorado Rapids, Zakuani took a horrific tackle from Brian Mullan. As a result, Zakuani suffered a broken tibia and fibula. However, after several surgeries, rehabilitation, and some reserve games, he finally made his return to the field. The Sounders wrote an article that you can read about here.

His return obviously was definitely a heart-warming event. It looked as though he could have been gone from the game for longer (I’ve seen two other tackles from Arsenal players that were pretty savage that put them out of the game for quite a while too, Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey). But he finally made his return. But what impressed me wasn’t just the return itself, but what happened afterwards. He met with Brian Mullen at the end of the game, shared a hug and exchanged shirts.

I don’t think this was by any means a PR stunt because exchanging shirts is typically a gesture only shown to people that have respect for one another. You usually see that with players of the same sort of caliber or class. It could be friends too. But obviously they aren’t of the same kind of caliber. You’d  think after such a tackle, they wouldn’t be considered friends or even be shown any kind of respect either… That’s why this is such a display of sportsmanship and forgiveness on the part of Zakauni. To forgive the person that could have put your career out of the picture was stunning and such an act should be applauded. This is rarely seen in sports these days.

It’s even more fascinating to me when I was reading random posts from Yahoo! Sports of people that are still saying “Mullen should be banned for life. The guy is a bastard. Get rid of him from the game.” Maybe it’s time for people to just find some closure in all this. Zakuani said he quickly forgave the guy after the accident, and remember, it was his career that was put in doubt. Why can’t everyone else do the same?

Steve Zakuani was truly a class act that day. His comeback was the story of the day, but his forgiveness really showed true character.

To Forgive and Be Forgiven

From the moment we come into this world until the moment we leave it, we’re bound to mistakes in some way. They’re usually of varying severity, depending on the person that we’ve harmed. A small white lie… a rather defamatory insult… damage to something that was precious to someone else… and sometimes, it is far, far worse… The fact of the matter is that these mistakes are bound to happen, regardless of how much we try to prevent ourselves from making it a reality.

There’s always two parties involved when incidents like these happen. When we’re in the party that caused the problem, it’s our immediate duty to apologize regardless of how deserving it is or right we might think we are. If we are the ones that were the recipients of such actions, it’s our duty to forgive those that hurt us when they apologize.

Why? Like I said earlier, we’re all prone to making mistakes. We all are sinners. It is an unfortunate trait that we as humans possess. However, something to think about is this. Is it right for us to ask for forgiveness from someone if we can’t forgive someone else for what they’ve done to us? Or is it right to be expecting an apology from someone if we are too prideful that we won’t give one ourselves? We all want to be forgiven when we’ve hurt someone and to receive an apology when we’re been hurt.

This is obviously easier said than done. I know I haven’t been so easily swayed to do one or the other as a part of either party in the past. And I know I forget sometimes as well. Again, it’s a trait of humanity. It does take time as well to do this, depending on the severity and the extent of the damage. However, it regardless of how severe it is, if someone is to apology with their full and honest heart, it is important for the other to forgive with the same kind of heart. To either with any lesser kind of heart is about the same as not doing it at all. It shows that we don’t care or love them if we don’t do it without the fullness of our heart.

But lesson learned, in our daily lives, we should keep this in mind when things like this happen. Apologize for mistakes that you make. And forgive those that have committed mistakes that affect or hurt you and apologize. And do so with an honest and whole heart. Otherwise, it’ll hypocrisy if we choose not to.