Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tennessee State University Could be the First HBCU with ‘Ice Hockey!’

Tennessee State Univ campus
Tennessee State University is exploring the idea of adding hockey programs. (Photo: LinkedIn/Tennessee State University)

*Every ethnic group has its stereotypical clichés of “what is” and “what is not” acceptable. For Black Americans it could be “we don’t swim,” or for White Americans, it could be “we can’t dance.” Whichever crazy myth you decide to believe, the truth is that people aren’t tied to any one thing, just because of their ethnicity.

Take Tennessee State University for instance. The school recently decided to challenge another stereotype regarding sports and minorities, by exploring the idea of introducing ice hockey to their campus. If they choose to incorporate the game, it would be the first time that a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), has offered ice hockey and would be the first varsity hockey program in the entire state.

“The idea of establishing a collegiate hockey program at TSU is a tremendous opportunity as the nation’s first HBCU to take on this endeavor,” President Glenda Glover said to CNN, according to Black Enterprise. “This allows us to expand the sport, increase diversity, and introduce a new fan base.”

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The National Hockey League’s recent study shows that Hockey is continuously growing among both Blacks and Hispanics. There are at least 13 Black players on NCAA Division I and III women’s hockey rosters in the current season, which compared to 2019, is a huge spike, considering there were only four, according to the NHL.

However, the NHL has previously been under much scrutiny by its Black players for not doing more to protect Black players and all-around include Black fans. Last summer amid the Black Lives Matter movement, a group of former and current Black NHL players created the Hockey Diversity Alliance in an effort to “eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey,” reports Black Enterprise.

Yet, the group eventually broke from the NHL in October, because the league wasn’t supportive of their cause.

In contrast, Kevin Westgarth, NHL Vice President, told CNN that this could be an amazing opportunity for Hockey.

“Taking this initial step with Tennessee State University, led by their ambitious and visionary leadership, awakens thought on potential playing opportunities, new facilities, and new avenues to watch live hockey, all driven by an HBCU and NHL club in the heart of Nashville,” Westgarth told CNN. “This could be a game-changer,” according to Black Enterprise.

Despite these unfortunate racial biases, TSU has clearly decided to turn a new leaf and operate with a new perspective, hoping that this alliance brings a different and exciting angle to the game!

Chantelle Adanna
Chántelle Adanna Agbro is a Nigerian-American literary artist, self-published author, spoken word poet, and self-love/wellness enthusiast, currently based in Bowie, Maryland. With the recent launch of her personalized project: The Rebel Journal, she’s revving up to announce her listening party for her latest audiobook release My Soul Told On Me, which dropped this past April! She writes for Black Women to feel their embedded emotions when they’re too busy carrying everyone else’s, which is what birthed her trademark: “She Carries”. Her work is for women at any age and in any stage in life as she covers a wide range of topics such as: self-care, heartbreak, depression, politics and self-hate etc. From storytelling to poem affirmations, to spoken word, Chántelle is known for being fearless and ruthless in her vulnerability, courageous in her ability to speak and fluid in her ability to authentically convey her feelings. She articulates from root to steam the value within self-love with the Afro-Latino culture always intertwined. At 25, this is Chántelle’s first book but definitely not her last.




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