nocera wrote: Ossa wrote:
Bathgate wrote:There is one aspect of this discussion that has not been brought up: Race.
Black athletes more or less dominate football, so naturally many blacks are intensely interested in pro football and the Steelers. So are many whites too, of course. But, when it comes to hockey, it is largely ignored by blacks, who make up something like 9% of the regional population.
How would the popularity between the two teams stack up among whites only? It would be closer obviously.
Do the Pens need to do a better job of marketing their brand to blacks, such as by acquiring a black player who can actually play (i.e., not an enforcer like Georges Laraque who wouldn’t enforce anyway)?
I think the bigger issue is income, not necessarily race.
As for introducing more black players to the team, the Thrashers tried it and they moved to Winnipeg.
These posts makes me uncomfortable.
Like it or not, comfortable or not, race is a big elephant in the room when it comes to NHL fans, especially for future generations.
You can rightfully argue that income has more to do with the demographics than race does, but the fact remains that hockey is a sport primarily played by, and watched by, white people. This doesn't make the sport racist at all, its is just the reality of what challenges lie ahead in growing the sport. This is a country that is becoming more and more racially diverse every day, and institutions, such as sports leagues, that are viewed by only a certain set of people are going to have to make sensible adjustments to account for that change. I don't think the answer is for teams to force more black players into the current league, The key could be to put more focus on making the game more accesible to lower income and a racially diverse youth base to help future generations grow up with the game of hockey the same way they do with other sports.