Oftentimes, people who run onto fields of play are spited by players. They are tackled, chased, booed and glared at.
That wasn’t the case at the Team Spain practice facility in Brazil this week.
Venicius dos Santos, 15, darted onto the field during a World Cup training session, evading security guards and team personnel. Some appeared to berate him and grab at him.
But Gerard Pique did just the opposite. He waves his hand at team officials to get them to stop grabbing at the fan before taking his warmup jacket off and giving the kid a hug, while saying something to him.
While it may provide precedent for future daredevils to jump security barricades and enter the field of play, the show of compassion — and humanity — from Pique is rare among athletes. And it’s something young dos Santos will surely never forget.