Union College in New York will host a panel this week as part of Black History Month to discuss ways in which to increase racial diversity in hockey.
“Union College, the 2014 NCAA Division I national champions in men’s hockey, is the only college or university in the country to have two Black coaches on its combined women’s and men’s hockey staffs,” the institution stated in announcing the event.
“Panelists will include coaches, administrators and hockey advocates who will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing hockey as it looks to increase its racial diversity and become more inclusive.”
Making hockey more inclusive — both on the rink and among its support staff — has been a trending topic recently.
There is a concerted effort within the National Hockey League’s top brass to advance diversity and inclusion within its ranks, especially after a report came out late last year that found the sport is too white.
“The report … found that 83.6% of the NHL’s workforce is white and that men make up nearly 62% of the total, based on the 4,200 people who participated in a voluntary and anonymous survey (about 67% of all employees),” USA Today reported.
“That nearly mirrors the situation on the ice, where more than 90% of players and nearly all coaches and officials are white.”
In November 2022, the NHL tweeted “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Nonbinary identity is real.”
Last month, the National Hockey League planned to host a job fair that specifically sought applicants who were female, black, Asian, Latino, indigenous, LGBTQIA+, or veterans. But the plan was yanked after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the hiring parameters discriminatory.
Also last month a firestorm erupted after a prominent NHL player refused to wear pro-LGBTQ rainbow gear, citing his Christian faith.
Don't miss this virtual event slated for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. @union_nineteen will host a panel to discuss increasing racial diversity and inclusivity in hockey @Unionmhockey @UnionWHockey https://t.co/r3Qd0lLBBf
— Union College (@UnionCollege) February 19, 2023
On the collegiate level, a Canadian university last September scrubbed its intramural hockey program after an “equity audit” determined it needs to be more “accessible and inclusive.”
The Union College panel, set for Feb. 21, was scheduled because President David Harris is “a strong advocate for making collegiate hockey more inclusive,” the university’s website states.
“Panelists will share the challenges they have encountered during their respective hockey journeys, discuss the biggest challenges facing Black players and coaches in hockey today and offer ideas to grow the game at all levels based on their experience,” it adds.
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