I was on Facebook last night and I was looking through a couple notes that I wrote a couple years back. One of the topics that immediately flashed at me was the topic of why there were little to no black hockey players.
I felt like, in most people eyes, this is a non-issue but for me, it still makes for a good question for debate.
I am a beginner when it comes to hockey. I'm in like a development process because I am still learning the rules. I began to get interest because of all of the press that the Boston Bruins have been getting on their recent slump and Martin Brodeur earning the most wins for a goalie.
What I have noticed during the past month is that there is a major lack in black players in hockey.
There are many reasons why there is a major disparity between races in hockey, but for the sake of time, I'll highlight the two major ones. The two major reasons for this is money and the lack of black superstars in the NHL.
Hockey, like baseball, takes a lot of time and money to participate in at a young age. You have to buy all of the necessary equipment just to participate at a little league level, and that would be just the beginning of it because if the kid loves the sport, you are going to be buying equipment proabably until high school.
The other aspect of this is if you are a black kid growing up in the city, hockey isn't going to be the first option, because it's not a pick-up-and-play type sport. For me and my friends growing up, basketball, football, and baseball were the first sports that we played.
Hockey wasn't available to us because we couldn't all afford a stick and a ball, but in the other sports all you would need is a basketball, a football, or a baseball and a bat and you had a pick-up game.
The other problem with the NHL is the lack of black superstars. As kids grow up, they tend to find certain sports attractive because of the superstars that you can relate to.
Like in my case, I love football and it seems like the NFL does a great job advertising their athletes. As I was growing up, I really looked up to Warren Sapp. To me, he is the best defensive tackle EVER.
I really related to him because he was a big guy, and football was the first sport that I saw these 300+ pound guys doing something athletic. At that point I thought all big people, myself included were athletic until I saw him play.
I really am beginning to like hockey, but at this point, its the fifth sport on My Fave Five. I believe if hockey wants to crack the top four in American sports, they need to start advertising to black kids everywhere.