Four New Committees
NHL team Vegas Golden Knights, featuring Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reeves. Photo by John Locher/ AP.

The Black Lives Matter movement is making people look at how systems in America are set up. The National Hockey League (NHL) will be creating four new committees to focus on diversity issues within the sport.

“We are trying to make sure that we don’t dominate the conversation. That we actually allow these committees to tell us what we should be talking about, as opposed to us coming to them with predetermined agenda,” said Kim Davis, executive vice president for social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs.

There have been several players who have reported their experience during their NHL career. They reported similar behaviors of coaches using racial language and physical abuse towards them.

After these reports and all of the current movements happening right now, it lit a fire for NHL to change.

Almost all 32 NHL teams, including the Seattle extension team, have released statements about their stance on Justice for George Floyd. However, the only team that has not said anything is the New York Rangers.

Many athletes have used social media to take a stance. Over 110 NHL players alone have stood up for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Four Committees

All four committees are gearing towards having many inputs to create a lasting change within the sport.

The Executive Inclusion Council includes five NHL owners, five team managers and two general managers. The exact people will be released to the public within the coming weeks. The first meeting will take place sometime in July. The mission is to take the input from the other three committees and expand the ideas over the whole league.

The Players Inclusion Committee is comprised of current and former NHL players. Also a group of women’s players from the U.S. and Canada. “That committee will be focused on bringing ideas on how we can continue to build stronger pipelines for players, all the way from the youth system through professional hockey,” Davis said.

The Fan Inclusion Committee has chief marketing officers from multiple NHL teams and different partners the league has worked with in terms of multiculturalism. The idea is for them to be able to do outreach programs to underrepresented youth. They will also be tasked with making sure they are reaching out to a wide variety of races and gender.

“Our efforts around ‘Hockey Is For Everyone’ are aspirational. We’re not taking a victory lap. But our efforts to amplify Black History Month and gender equality are just that: The amplification of what should be built into the DNA of how we think about our sport on a day-to-day basis. That’s what the [Fan Inclusion Committee] is going to be tasked with,” said Davis.

The final one is the Youth Inclusion Committee. This will feature leaders from USA Hockey and Canadian Hockey. Most importantly they will also be including parents and youth leaders for them to speak out about their experience with the sport. The idea is to open the sport to every child so they feel welcomed.

Also, there is a planned NHL task force that will be looking at tackling issues regarding the development of minority coaches and officials.

Overall, the idea of what these four new committees can bring to the sport is exciting. The vision of outreach and equality is extremely hopeful.