What it's like to Be a Hockey Player in America
A Fabulous Tackk By Hunter Ringley
Historically: Now v. Then
There is very little racial, economic, gendered, and geographic diversity among hockey players. This makes most people view hockey players as white males from Canada. This is becoming less and less true each year as hockey becomes more widespread and available. Geographically, it is harder for people further south to even find a place to skate. Over time, however, largely due to technological developments, it has become easier to find ice to skate on, allowing more people to be able to play hockey.
Hockey Players from Families with Lower Incomes
Playing hockey, even in the most basic level, can will cost lots of money. According to Hockey by Beeski, the average player will spend upwards of $5000 per season. A player from a low-income family, if they even considered playing, would have a worse and less safe experience due to using cheaper equipment (a large portion of the cost). In a survey conducted by Hockey by Beeski, the average household income for the players was $153,531, as compared to the national average (as of 2012) of $71,317.
Demographics of Players
There few non-white people that play hockey, but according to The Buffalo News, more and more people from different races and cultures are getting involved in hockey each year: “The colors change. You saw it with basketball years and years ago. More black players came into the league. Baseball with Jackie Robinson. But it’s not at that point in hockey." (Darnell Nurse). There tend to be many more guys than girls that play hockey (there is only one girl in my entire league), and according to Lexicalist, only 39.1% of all hockey players are female. Girls are often treated very differently in games, due to courteous rules, which some believe to be sexist.
Hockey is a growing sport, so do you think players will be more racially, gendered, economically, and geographically diverse in the future than they currently are, or will it remain a sport for mostly wealthy white males?