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The Changing Landscape Of Hockey

from Dan Szczepanek of Grandstand Central,

Hockey culture is evolving. Minority fans, LBGT fans, women, and low-income fans are gaining a voice in hockey fandom through organizations like the Black Girl Hockey Club. The traditional hockey market is changing and, with it, the entire landscape of hockey. Although change is difficult and oftentimes unwanted, anticipating and encouraging this shift toward inclusion is a move that will benefit institutions and hockey fans alike. Embracing diversity and working toward equity in hockey is the best way for the National Hockey League to move forward into the future of hockey....

In my opinion, the NHL needs to continue to build relationships with ethnic minority hockey organizations, as this provides a way for the different communities to get involved in hockey. While conducting a South Asian event for the Edmonton Oil Kings, I met a group of kids that were wearing Jujhar Khaira Oilers jerseys. Jujhar is the only current player of South Asian descent in the NHL, and when I asked the group what it means to them to see a fellow Sikh hockey player in the NHL, they responded by telling me that they themselves had started to play hockey because of him – a very powerful statement. Our organization’s goal is to have male and female hockey players playing at elite levels and have more representation in the NHL. I firmly believe that to diversify the NHL’s fan base, the players in the league must be diverse as well.

much more

Filed in: NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

MurrayChadwick's avatar

How about the game is played on this ice, and whomever enjoys it, buys a ticket, a jersey or flips on a tv and enjoys it, who cares who they are, and we leave the political’eske pandering the eff out of this and all sports!

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/09/19 at 01:32 PM ET

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What’s political about wanting to get as many people involved with hockey as possible, whether playing and/or as fans? If people, especially young people, have never really been exposed to hockey then they’re not going to get involved or care about the sport.

And we’re talking about a sport that’s different than basketball in the sense that you can’t just go grab a ball and start playing—so in order to keep up (in terms of engagement with the younger generations), the NHL and people involved in hockey would be wise to consider different ways of marketing the sport or reaching out to people who wouldn’t have initially thought it was for them.

Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 07/09/19 at 02:22 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

we leave the political’eske pandering the eff out of this and all sports!

Shocking that this comes from the commenter who used “Nyqueen” as an insult.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 07/09/19 at 02:50 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I don’t know, nor do I care, who else is watching the hockey game, whether they are watching from their living room 4 blocks south of me, or sitting in section 228, row 15, seat 2.  If people want to watch, cool.  If not, that’s fine too.

Discussions like these look at sub-cultures of people more like pawns and less like…people.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/09/19 at 03:11 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

How about the game is played on this ice, and whomever enjoys it, buys a ticket, a jersey or flips on a tv and enjoys it, who cares who they are, and we leave the political’eske pandering the eff out of this and all sports!

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod’s pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/09/19 at 01:32 PM ET

Ditto!! Well said MC!

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 07/09/19 at 04:00 PM ET

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What’s political about wanting to get as many people involved with hockey as possible, whether playing and/or as fans?

Literally nothing.

Posted by godblender on 07/09/19 at 05:42 PM ET

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How about the game is played on this ice, and whomever enjoys it, buys a ticket, a jersey or flips on a tv and enjoys it, who cares who they are, and we leave the political’eske pandering the eff out of this and all sports!

Triggered!

Posted by godblender on 07/09/19 at 05:43 PM ET

Temo's avatar

It’s not about getting political, it’s about expanding the fandom of the game to more diverse communities because it’s the best game in the (rapidly changing) world.

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 07/09/19 at 07:20 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Exactly, Temo!

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 07/10/19 at 12:55 AM ET

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Shocking that this comes from the commenter who used “Nyqueen” as an insult.

ding ding ding

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/10/19 at 09:17 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Discussions like these look at sub-cultures of people more like pawns and less like…people.

Posted by TreKronor on 07/09/19 at 03:11 PM ET

Exactly.

 

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/10/19 at 09:38 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

What’s political about wanting to get as many people involved with hockey as possible.
Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 07/09/19 at 02:22 PM ET

When you do something based on ethnicity, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and to single people out based on something they are born with, for good bad or indifferent reasons is just wrong, its political pandering.  The easiest way to spot this is to consider what would happen if you replaced the “group” with the polar opposite and consider whether that would fly or not,  like a marketing effort for only straight men can you imagine that? its wrong both ways.  Money is green no matter who spends it, and that’s the only thing that should matter.

As far as an outreach to low-income fans as some have suggested due to the cost of the sport, YES, that’s a fantastic idea, something that’s done today and could be done more.  NHL helps to provide “free” rental equipment to youth programs to garner interest in the game, they had a program a while back that had some success called breakout for street/roller, more of that stuff should be done to help with the cost barrier,  so long as its not based on the factors mentioned.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/10/19 at 09:49 AM ET

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The easiest way to spot this is to consider what would happen if you replaced the “group” with the polar opposite and consider whether that would fly or not,  like a marketing effort for only straight men can you imagine that?

That is the stupidest, most ignorant thing I’ve read in a long time.

“Would it fly?”

It wouldn’t happen, because you don’t appeal to people who already watch the game when you’re trying to grow the game. Of course it wouldn’t fly because it’s preaching to the converted, you horse’s ass.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/10/19 at 12:04 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 07/10/19 at 12:04 PM ET

I would call someone who characterizes hockey fans as mostly straight males, and those who are not straight to not be fans to be ignorant, but then again, I’m debating with someone who has to result to insults.  Best be careful and really think out that politician spin your trying ole boy, someone might think your a bigot.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/10/19 at 12:20 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

I would call someone who characterizes hockey fans as mostly straight males

You’re ridiculous. You’re really going to deny that most hockey fans are straight males?

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 07/10/19 at 01:40 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 07/10/19 at 01:40 PM ET

Of course not, statistically speaking, in any random selection people, the majority of them are straight, so carrying that forward, straight males make up the majority.  That said… to suggest that you don’t need to market to straight males, but do need to market to those who are not is ignorant.  Unless like CDMC, your making a broad-brush assumption that gay males don’t like hockey and need to be sold on the game, but the straight men just have that passion in them already. 

I don’t even like where this conversation is going, I used “Straight men” as a contrast example, could’ve easily used white, non-ethnic, or even just male as the opposite targets to prove the point.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 07/10/19 at 02:12 PM ET

Temo's avatar

I think we can all safely say that the fan base for hockey is slowly but surely growing in terms of reaching to more diverse communities. You can see it with the players themselves; the number of minority players is small but they’re visible which is a good thing for the game so it can grow the fandom and help the league grow in popularity.

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 07/10/19 at 02:24 PM ET

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Okay, hotheaded comments aside, I can say that when I see (as I do more and more) first generation Chinese, Pakistani, Indian, Haitian, etc kids coming out to our local house league hockey organization it makes me feel good.  Other parents will help get the kids dressed the first couple of times until they figure it out.  We’re now seeing some of those kids begin to play at the higher levels too, I think it’s great.  Last year my son was asked to go and play a tournament in Beijing as the token ‘white kid’ on an all Chinese Canadian team.

Posted by dwgs on 07/10/19 at 02:54 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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