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Las Vegas, NV – The San Jose Barracuda (@SJBarracuda), proud AHL (@TheAHL) affiliate of the San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks), will wear mismatched socks on Sunday (March 21) in their game against the Henderson Silver Knights (@HSKnights) to raise awareness for Rock Your Socks Day in conjunction with World Down Syndrome Day.
Barracuda Head Coach Roy Sommer first brought up the idea after the Calgary Flames wore mismatching socks during practice on March 16. Sommer's son Marley (aka Mo) has Down Syndrome.
Flames Head Coach Darryl Sutter, who Sommer coached under with the Sharks during the 1997-98 season, has a son, Chris, who also has Down Syndrome.
Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement. March 21 has officially been observed as World Down Syndrome Day by the United Nations since 2012.
Rock Your Socks Day is a campaign that "shows all types, shapes, sizes of the same thing can be unique in their own way, and yet do the same thing." It also aims to create a conversation about diversity, uniqueness, inclusion and acceptance.
Over Sommer’s many seasons as head coach, Mo has become a mainstay in and around the teams’ locker rooms.
“He loves being on the bus, he loves hanging out with the guys, and the biggest part about it is, the guys have been so good to him over the years,” said Sommer. “They treat him almost like a little brother and they look after him when they’re not playing, and they sit in the stands with him. He gets a lot out of it. I get a lot out of it, just seeing the joy in him.”