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(Washington Post)   The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at one of the rarest occurrences in all of sports: the black hockey fan   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Unlikely, Donald Brashear, Verizon Center, New Jersey Devils, African-American neighborhood, fans, black hockey, season tickets  
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2268 clicks; posted to Sports » on 04 Mar 2012 at 2:17 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-04 02:15:53 PM  
I had never thought about the cost of equipment (and ice time) as being a reason that more black kids don't play hockey...but I guess is sort of makes sense. I believe black children are still more likely to be raised in poor households.

Still, you would think that there is enough equality in incomes that this barrier should be starting to blur. I always just assumed that black mothers were smarter than to let their kids take up the sport.
 
TKM
2012-03-04 02:22:09 PM  
I've been drinking at the same bar as Willie O'Ree for 27 years so I'm getting a kick...
 
2012-03-04 02:22:45 PM  
They are afeared of ice
 
2012-03-04 02:27:15 PM  
This guy has already made himself the most famous "black" hockey fan.

GIS: "black hockey fan". First picture that comes up:

www.washingtonpost.com

Way to go, black hockey fan guy.

/I'm going write an article about being the only white Jai Alai fan, and how awkward it is when no one at Jai Alai matches speaks English.
 
2012-03-04 02:28:37 PM  
Hey, I saw a black guy in the crowd at an AHL game Friday night. An AHL game in Maine.
 
2012-03-04 02:30:47 PM  

mr_a:

I had never thought about the cost of equipment (and ice time) as being a reason that more black kids don't play hockey...but I guess is sort of makes sense. I believe black children are still more likely to be raised in poor households.


It's a chicken vs egg thing by now. Football is pretty reliant on expensive equipment too but lots of poor black kids still want to play.
 
2012-03-04 02:35:51 PM  

One Bad Apple: It's a chicken vs egg thing by now. Football is pretty reliant on expensive equipment too but lots of poor black kids still want to play.


You can play pretty safely without pads and get pretty close to the regular game if one person has a $10-20 football.

If you spend 20 bucks on hockey equipment, you might have a player with a stick and a puck. No skates, no goals, no sticks for anyone else...it's nowhere near the same level.
 
2012-03-04 02:36:32 PM  
Pfft. A whole family of Orthodox Jews sat behind us at the Wings/Jackets game in Columbus. Yarmulkes and everything. I think the next group to fully embrace hockey will be the Samoans.
 
2012-03-04 02:40:46 PM  
There's quite a lot of black hockey fans of the Sharks along with Mexican and Asian fans. I understand why hockey has a hard time infiltrating the African American demographic because it's far cheaper to play other sports, but there are fans that aren't white of the sport. Go to any Sharks game and the crowd is at least 1/4 minorities. That might have more to do with the fact that SJ is a diverse area and it's still the only game in town unless you drive an hour north to SF or Oakland, but there are minorities that do follow the sport.
 
2012-03-04 02:44:28 PM  

TKM: I've been drinking at the same bar as Willie O'Ree for 27 years so I'm getting a kick...


I'm his grand-nephew, so I'm also getting a kick... from my grandma.
/Not kidding about being his GN. Ask him about Winnie O'Ree.
//Fredericton NB is a small town for black people.
 
2012-03-04 02:44:39 PM  

One Bad Apple: mr_a:

I had never thought about the cost of equipment (and ice time) as being a reason that more black kids don't play hockey...but I guess is sort of makes sense. I believe black children are still more likely to be raised in poor households.

It's a chicken vs egg thing by now. Football is pretty reliant on expensive equipment too but lots of poor black kids still want to play.


At least when I was a kid (which wasn't that long ago), if you played Pop Warner or scholastic football, you paid a "membership" fee to join the team (which was sometimes covered by the school itself) and were then assigned a helmet and set of pads from the pool of equipment that the team/league/school owned. The teams got to practice on the grounds of the local school basically for free. If you wanted to play ice hockey, however, you were expected to buy your own skates/pads/sticks, as well as pay your share of what the ice time cost on top of the league membership fees. Not surprisingly, the local high school hockey teams were almost all from the wealthier suburbs, Catholic schools, and a handful of the private prep/boarding schools that were populated by the children of the local 1%ers.

A full set of hockey gear isn't cheap. Ice time is really expensive, especially if you're like my school was and had to drive over to the next town over and use their municipal rink because we didn't have one. Unless you're in a place like Minnesota or North Dakota, where all you really need is some open space in the yard and a garden hose, just finding a place to practice can put the sport out of most families' reach.
 
2012-03-04 02:44:52 PM  
I thought it was because they didn't like all those white guys in masks with sticks.
 
2012-03-04 02:45:06 PM  

IAmRight: If you spend 20 bucks on hockey equipment, you might have a player with a stick and a puck. No skates, no goals, no sticks for anyone else...it's nowhere near the same level.


And you still may not even have a place to play. Open outdoor rinks are not available in a lot of areas of the country.
 
2012-03-04 02:49:28 PM  

MoonPirate: I thought it was because they didn't like all those white guys in masks with sticks.


1.bp.blogspot.com

/Why only a top 5? Cause the Man needs his news...
 
2012-03-04 02:50:17 PM  

IAmRight:


You can play pretty safely without pads and get pretty close to the regular game if one person has a $10-20 football.

If you spend 20 bucks on hockey equipment, you might have a player with a stick and a puck. No skates, no goals, no sticks for anyone else...it's nowhere near the same level.


$20 ? LUXURY

I grew up near Boston and street hockey was pretty popular. No skates, tennis ball or hard rubber ball, goalie pads (if any) were made from couch cushions and shoestrings, a "net" could be a chalk outline on a brick wall or just stacked up coke cans filled with dirt.

But yeah, you need one stick per player as opposed to just the one ball per game.
 
2012-03-04 02:52:13 PM  
May as well say it since there's a thread on this; and it's not like he'll likely read this even if there is an afterlife, but:

multimedia.detnews.com

We miss you, Mr. Rucker.
 
2012-03-04 03:05:43 PM  

One Bad Apple: I grew up near Boston and street hockey was pretty popular. No skates, tennis ball or hard rubber ball,


I used to play street hockey with no skates too, but skating is such an integral part to real hockey that there's not much translation between the skills. You have to re-learn how to do everything with skates if you never had any. There's not a lot of re-learning to do thing from no pads to having pads in football.
 
2012-03-04 03:08:15 PM  
Reminds me of the lone black Death Metal fan that went to all the New England shows. Forgot his name but I always thought it took a lot of balls.

/yes, yes I know there are a number of black musicians in the genre
 
2012-03-04 03:11:03 PM  
It is kind of funny to go to a hockey game and not see a black person in the crowd. Why don't they like hockey? Saying that they don't enjoy it because they didn't play it growing up isn't an excuse. Most people didn't play hockey growing up and many of them are still fans.
 
2012-03-04 03:26:18 PM  

9beers: It is kind of funny to go to a hockey game and not see a black person in the crowd. Why don't they like hockey? Saying that they don't enjoy it because they didn't play it growing up isn't an excuse. Most people didn't play hockey growing up and many of them are still fans.


They also have virtually no network coverage. There's not even much coverage on cable unless you seek it out.

So there's a small number of black athletes participating at the top level (not many role models that look like them). Not many grow up participating. There's not much exposure to the sport. Hockey on TV sucks (in person, it's the best, but why would you go to a game if you don't know anything about it?) There aren't as many teams in relevant cities (and you don't even have them in hipster cities that LOVE international sports like Seattle or Portland). I also think it's funny when hockey fans get pissed off that hockey teams get put in Southern cities, then when they get taken away, wonder why black people (who are heavily concentrated in the South) don't like the sport.
 
2012-03-04 03:30:03 PM  

MoonPirate: I thought it was because they didn't like all those white guys in masks with sticks.


Seeing how the white players are only beating up their own kind, there's nothing to fear. If anything, the players may not want to get into too many fights with any minority players, especially if the player is named after Evander Holyfield.
 
2012-03-04 03:30:18 PM  
FTA: Maybe that's what it'll take for the black community to have a major interest in the game. It's easier to root for people who look like you.

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-03-04 03:31:03 PM  
Even more rare, black women hockey fans .... in Boston.

cache.boston.com
 
2012-03-04 03:32:07 PM  

Kyle Butler: Even more rare, black women hockey fans .... in Boston.

[cache.boston.com image 539x375]



You just had to open that can of worms didn't you...
 
2012-03-04 03:41:26 PM  
FTFA: Although the number of black players in the league has increased steadily over the years, no athlete has had a barrier-breaking Jeremy Lin or Tiger Woods effect on the NHL. Maybe that's what it'll take for the black community to have a major interest in the game. It's easier to root for people who look like you.

Yeah, if only there was a transformative guy. Maybe half white and half Kenyan with a funny last name ending in 'A' like Obama (too derivative?). Someone who is maybe the captain of his team, has won an MVP or two, has won Olympic gold leading his country to victory.

A guy that that? He'd transform the perception of the game.
 
2012-03-04 03:49:09 PM  

unyon: Yeah, if only there was a transformative guy. Maybe half white and half Kenyan with a funny last name ending in 'A' like Obama (too derivative?). Someone who is maybe the captain of his team, has won an MVP or two, has won Olympic gold leading his country to victory.

A guy that that? He'd transform the perception of the game.


He'd probably have to do it somewhere other than a cowtown in Alberta.
 
2012-03-04 03:50:31 PM  

IAmRight: They also have virtually no network coverage.


What? Most cities have stations that show all of their teams games, including the NHL.
 
2012-03-04 04:04:22 PM  

9beers: What? Most cities have stations that show all of their teams games, including the NHL.


Not on network TV. On a public access station no one watches, perhaps. And again, there are no "their teams" in the entire southeastern USA (I guess you could count Nashville, but no, you didn't.). So my point still stands.
 
2012-03-04 04:06:02 PM  

9beers: IAmRight: They also have virtually no network coverage.

What? Most cities have stations that show all of their teams games, including the NHL.


A local cable station is not network coverage. Network is ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox.
 
2012-03-04 04:09:09 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: unyon: Yeah, if only there was a transformative guy. Maybe half white and half Kenyan with a funny last name ending in 'A' like Obama (too derivative?). Someone who is maybe the captain of his team, has won an MVP or two, has won Olympic gold leading his country to victory.

A guy that that? He'd transform the perception of the game.

He'd probably have to do it somewhere other than a cowtown in Alberta.


Don't worry, one day Calgary will embrace the fact that they need to rebuild the franchise and they'll trade Iginla out.

Until that point they'll just continue to play Kipper's legs off and get stuck with mediocre, mid-round picks.
 
2012-03-04 04:10:01 PM  
Hey I'm a hispanic Hockey fan? Am I rare?
 
2012-03-04 04:11:37 PM  

9beers: IAmRight: They also have virtually no network coverage.

What? Most cities have stations that show all of their teams games, including the NHL.


For some reason they're not carrying the Atlanta Thrashers anymore down here in GA.
 
2012-03-04 04:13:33 PM  
From the movie Crash:

Anthony: You could fill the Staple Center with what you don't know.
Peter: The Kings are playing tonight.
Anthony: You don't like hockey! Only reason you say you do is to piss me off!
Peter: ...I love hockey.
 
2012-03-04 04:16:58 PM  
femaleracingnews.com

I see your rarest occurrence and raise you one.
 
2012-03-04 04:19:10 PM  

IAmRight: I also think it's funny when hockey fans get pissed off that hockey teams get put in Southern cities, then when they get taken away, wonder why black people (who are heavily concentrated in the South) don't like the sport.


There are PLENTY of black people in Detroit, Chicago, New York, LA, Philly, Boston, and the major Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) that see successful hockey teams and still don't give a shiat for the sport. It's got nothing to do with geography.
 
2012-03-04 04:25:55 PM  

hulk hogan meat shoes: There are PLENTY of black people in Detroit, Chicago, New York, LA, Philly, Boston, and the major Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) that see successful hockey teams and still don't give a shiat for the sport. It's got nothing to do with geography.


This is true. I'm just pointing out that the place with the greatest concentration of black people in America has no hockey team across several states.

And it doesn't necessarily have to do with one thing. Only an idiot would assume that something this vast would be based on one factor. But the fact that there are no teams in the south is working against them in this regard.
 
2012-03-04 04:34:16 PM  

Primitive Screwhead: Reminds me of the lone black Death Metal fan that went to all the New England shows. Forgot his name but I always thought it took a lot of balls.

/yes, yes I know there are a number of black musicians in the genre


It would be weirder to see a black person who is a black metal fan. Especially since there are certain bands in that subgenre who espouse white nationalism.
 
2012-03-04 04:34:39 PM  

IAmRight: hulk hogan meat shoes: There are PLENTY of black people in Detroit, Chicago, New York, LA, Philly, Boston, and the major Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) that see successful hockey teams and still don't give a shiat for the sport. It's got nothing to do with geography.

This is true. I'm just pointing out that the place with the greatest concentration of black people in America has no hockey team across several states.

And it doesn't necessarily have to do with one thing. Only an idiot would assume that something this vast would be based on one factor. But the fact that there are no teams in the south is working against them in this regard.


Maybe, if the players skated around in one direction the South would let Hockey rise again. The players do hit walls, so they have that part down. Exploding skates, and lighted sticks might add to the excitement. You can pipe in the fumes from the parking lot to give it that real race day smell.

After writing this down, Speed skating has everything a NASCAR fan would love.
 
2012-03-04 04:36:50 PM  

Kyle Butler: Even more rare, black women hockey fans .... in Boston.

[cache.boston.com image 539x375]


Fair-weather fans? In Boston? Why, I never!
 
2012-03-04 05:07:05 PM  
Just some casual observations:

I see blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and whites at the local ECHL arena.

I guessing not many hockey fans would be caught dead watching Oprah or the view.

New overpriced Nike release = riot

New overpriced Apple release= orderly line

At last night's Isley Brothers concert, I didn't see too many white folks.

Different strokes for different folks.
 
2012-03-04 05:09:01 PM  

mjoven1975: There's quite a lot of black hockey fans of the Sharks along with Mexican and Asian fans. I understand why hockey has a hard time infiltrating the African American demographic because it's far cheaper to play other sports, but there are fans that aren't white of the sport. Go to any Sharks game and the crowd is at least 1/4 minorities. That might have more to do with the fact that SJ is a diverse area and it's still the only game in town unless you drive an hour north to SF or Oakland, but there are minorities that do follow the sport.


Yeah, Sharks games draw a pretty diverse crown.

/misses going to games at the Tank. :(
 
2012-03-04 05:19:55 PM  
It's been said before but the Sharks have a diverse fanbase, probably because it's the only San Jose pro team and everyone one from here backs them. The fact that it's an ice sport that is mainly played in Canada might have to do with black people not getting into it. They already got football and basketball. I think a better question would be what caused black people to ditch baseball by and large.
 
2012-03-04 05:25:34 PM  
rlv.zcache.com

I think John Candy's their coach.
 
2012-03-04 05:35:11 PM  

TheJoe03: It's been said before but the Sharks have a diverse fanbase, probably because it's the only San Jose pro team and everyone one from here backs them. The fact that it's an ice sport that is mainly played in Canada might have to do with black people not getting into it. They already got football and basketball. I think a better question would be what caused black people to ditch baseball by and large.


It's America in general that is ditching baseball by and large.
 
2012-03-04 05:35:46 PM  
...and yet there are white basketball fans.

Some minority groups in Canada seem to like the game... the CBC broadcasts Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi, which is kind of fun to listen to.

On that note, I miss the Expos games in French.
 
2012-03-04 05:46:24 PM  
Even rarer, the southern united states hockey fan who understands why hockey in the NHL won't be successful down there anytime soon.
 
2012-03-04 06:13:31 PM  
"The Washington Post takes an in-depth look at one of the rarest occurrences in all of sports"...white running back in the NFL?
 
2012-03-04 06:15:12 PM  
I honestly think that african american's could dominate hockey. Faster, stronger, bigger, better hand eye coordination and just seem to be able to dominate almost every other sport. If hockey could get a star like iginla in LA or New York I think you would see the sport explode in popularity.
 
2012-03-04 06:20:41 PM  

great_tigers: I honestly think that african american's could dominate hockey. Faster, stronger, bigger, better hand eye coordination and just seem to be able to dominate almost every other sport. If hockey could get a star like iginla in LA or New York I think you would see the sport explode in popularity.


Okay Jimmy.
 
paj
2012-03-04 06:27:51 PM  

skinink: MoonPirate: I thought it was because they didn't like all those white guys in masks with sticks.

Seeing how the white players are only beating up their own kind, there's nothing to fear. If anything, the players may not want to get into too many fights with any minority players, especially if the player is named after Evander Holyfield.


Agreed.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
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