For the first time ever, the NHL released its first-ever comprehensive diversity and inclusion report at its board meeting earlier this week. According to reports, they discussed attempting to highlight and promote social change while displaying the demographic challenges. Over the last two years, the NHL Executive Inclusion Council and three subcommittees shave recorded data and put it into a 24-page report named, “Accelerating Diversity & Inclusion.”
Initially, this was created to examine and improve on diversity issues regarding fans, players, and just in general.
“We are working to better understand and accelerate our engagement across all layers of diversity — including nationality, race, gender identifies, sexual orientation, disability, and religion,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman wrote in the report. “Each day, we are committed to ensuring inclusion becomes more of ‘who we are than ‘what we do.'”
Why Don’t More Underrepresented Group Play Hockey?
The answer is simple, due to the environment, there are very limited opportunities to play. Not to mention, in order to play hockey one must be able to afford the equipment. So not only is it very rare to find opportunities to participate in the sport. But, then it’s extremely expensive to even begin playing.
Naturally, this will weed many people out just purely based on circumstance. However, it does seem promising that the NHL appears to be committed to advancing the game and attempting to reach a much broader audience. In fact, the executive vice president of social impact for the NHL, Kim Davis, released a statement suggesting just that. He appreciates the work set forward to help improve but there is so much more work to be done!
“This is a good start, but nobody is taking a victory lap,” said Kim Davis, the NHL’s executive vice president of social impact, growth, and legislative affairs. “We did this because we wanted to put a stake in the ground. Being transparent and being held accountable isn’t as scary as it may have felt three years ago. I hope that [the governors] see that their leadership matters. Going back to talk to their C-suite executives about this has made a difference.”