Race and Hockey!

Before the emergence of Tiger Woods we would always hear that golf is a white man’s game. Golf clubs in United States and many other places in the world used to have racist policies and some still do. People like Tiger and Vijay Sing changed that mentality to some degree. Golf is not a white man’s game, nor is any other game.

Going back not too distance in time, basketball, football and even baseball were considered as white man’s games too but only because non-whites were not allowed to play in professional leagues or even in some courts and grounds.

In recent years popular professional sports, in the United States and Canada, have been dominated by black players. Some of the best players in basketball, baseball or football are black. So no longer anyone can speak of these games as white man’s games.

But we still hear many people talking about Ice hockey as a white sport and the typical racist fans, including the famous commentator Don Cherry, seem to be so happy that majority of players in armature or professional leagues are white.

The reason there are very few non-whites in ice hockey is not because whites have any special skills that others don’t, but simply because of geographical, climate, opportunities and economical factors.

In many parts of Canada, northern United States and northern Europe kids can play hockey on natural ice in winter time. It’s a tradition to get on ice fields, lakes, back yards, or streets and play with your friends. Such communities are dominated by white populations. There aren’t too many black kids or ‘other colors” living in those communities. And even if you find a few non-white kids chances are that racist attitudes and comments made by others could deter them from playing in local junior leagues.

Also the majority of Black families throughout North America are not wealthy to buy their children Hockey equipment or pay the fees for using ice rinks or joining little leagues.

Now imagine if hundreds of thousands of black kids in North America were given skates, lots of ice time and practice, coaches and all the support they can get. Good changes are that there would be a good number of black players making it to professional leagues including the NHL. The black athletes have all the requirements, including physical and mental capacity, to be successful as professional hokey players.

And it’s not just hokey that would be dominated by black athletes. Blacks could excel in all winter sports, which are currently dominated by the white athletes, if they are given the opportunity. Shani Davis, an American two times Olympics gold medal winner speed skater, is a good example of a black athlete excelling in a winter sport because he was given that opportunity from childhood.

Of course we have to be realistic and realize that Africa is not going to produce winter sport champions. The climate plus the utter poverty of the African nations are not exactly winter sports friendly and we cannot expect that to ever change. However there could be more possibilities for African Americans and other blacks and non-whites in USA, Canada and Europe to enter the world of winter sports and even dominate them.

The point is that regardless of which sport we are talking about (golf, hockey or any other game), there is no such a thing as the white man’s game. It’s all about opportunities.


Article written by lifeisbeautiful

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  1. Pingback: Hockey- A White Dominated Sport | Maddies Blog

  2. Sporty

    This is so true!

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