And now hockey is a problem


IIn 2004, comedian Chris Rock cracked with wisdom about the apparent absence of the black community from professional hockey.

“They raised slaves,” he said, “that is why blacks control every physical activity in the USA.” “We’re only 10% of the population, 90% of the last four, okay? We control all of this, okay? Basketball, baseball, soccer, boxing, track, even golf, tennis.”

“Once they make a hot hockey rink, we’ll take that pot too,” Rock added.

The crowd, which was mostly black, was shrouded in laughter and applause.


The NHL wants to stop hiring white people

Like all good jokes, there is a kernel of truth in them. Not many black Americans play professional hockey. There are many possible explanations for this, including cultural, social and economic conditions. However, if Rock’s joke and the warm reception she received are properly understood, there is another possible reason: the black community itself is largely uninterested in playing a professional winter sport.

Someone has to say this to
National Hockey League
and the American press, both of which lamented the lack of workforce diversity in the US hockey governing body after the release of the first internal ice hockey demographic study this week.

The NHL executive vice president of social impact, growth, and legislative affairs, Kim Davis, who is black, said the report was a “good start,” “but no one is going into a winning run.”

“We did this [study] Because we wanted to put a stake in the land.” “Being transparent and accountable is not as scary as it was three years ago.”

The report found that 83.6% of staff members across the NHL and its 32 teams are white, while 4.2% are significantly younger than Asian, 3.7% are black, 3.7% are Hispanic/Latino, and 0.5% are Indigenous. The report also found that nearly 62% of NHL employees are men, while an estimated 36.8% are women. For the NHL, the last number should be encouraging: it reflects the NHL’s fan base. Nearly 37% of all NHL fans are women, according to the organization’s own data.

Davis continued, “There’s a saying that ‘If you know better, you do better.’ When you focus this type of work on this type of work, it helps people feel better about things that are often uncomfortable.”

“It’s uncomfortable because it’s not something they’ve experienced,” she added. Some people are ashamed to say it. I think the last two years, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, have allowed us all to become more open and vulnerable about things we don’t know, and that has certainly accelerated our work.”

Davis describes this week as many
“Diversity and Inclusion”
Initiatives the NHL has launched since its appointment five years ago, including funneling $500,000 into Zoom-based “intensive learning” sessions for league staff and encouraging teams to create “diversity and inclusion councils.” Teams have also been warned not to participate in law enforcement appreciation nights.

“I suspect [law enforcement appreciation nights are]For many of us, there is a blind spot about how one part of society can like the group and the other can fear the group, and the two can be true according to their point of view.”

She added, “While we talked to the clubs about this, they listened and learned a lot from them to do better. It’s complicated. [issue]but people are open to hearing and understanding how the perceptions can be real for those we are trying to make comfortable and feel welcome in our sport.”

It’s almost as interesting as Davis’s position in the press’s framing of the issue.

“The NHL’s first internal demographic study found that its workforce is overwhelmingly white,” News agency mentioned. “[Davis] He says seeing the numbers is the first step toward solving the problem.”

AP Hockey writer Stephen Winno said elsewhere that the new NHL study gives “the league a baseline from which to improve.”

Meanwhile, ESPN reports that the poll highlights “democratic challenges” in the NHL.

“the problem.” “Improved according to.” “Challenges”.

What exactly is the “problem”? Is it really a “problem” that the most popular winter sport in overwhelmingly white countries is served by an overwhelmingly white crew? This does not appear to be a “problem” (or a moral failure, as Davis suggests) so much as a normal and reasonable course of events.

Keep in mind the facts.

Countries where hockey is most popular
Canada
(obviously) the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. More than half of Canada’s total population is of European descent. 60% of the US population is white. The Czech Republic makes up about 64% of Czechs (i.e. Caucasian). Russia 80% of Russian (i.e. Caucasian) descent. Finland is of 86% Finnish (i.e. Caucasian) descent. Sweden is 80% of Swedish (i.e. Caucasian) descent. Switzerland is 69% of Swiss (i.e. Caucasian) descent.

Hockey is a cold weather sport enjoyed by residents of countries with cold climates. As it happens, the inhabitants of these very cold countries are almost white. You will be equally shocked to learn that there is not a great deal of cultural or generational interest in sub-Saharan regions, Latin America, etc., for a sport that requires freezing temperatures.

However, we were told it was a “problem” that could be “improved” for the NHL workforce to be predominantly white.

that makes Business It makes sense for the NHL to go down this path. She has every financial incentive to expand her fan base. But why the morally tainted discourse of APAnd ESPN and Davis and elsewhere? Why is it a “problem” or “challenge” that the most popular winter sport among whites in predominantly white countries should have an overwhelmingly white support staff? Why is this presented as an injustice?

Hockey is for Canada, Czech Republic, Russia, etc., like football is for South America. It is cultural. It is a generation between families. But few, if any, consider it a “problem” that should be “improved” because the South American Football Association is mainly composed of Latinos. Why should American hockey be treated differently?

Isn’t it enough that the NHL wants to expand the diversity of its teams and audiences for business? Do we also need a lecture on the supposed injustice of a mostly white workforce?

Apparently!


Click here to read more about taking back America

Beckett Adams is the director of programs at the National Press Center.


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