The hockey puck is not the only thing that is black on the ice. The power blackness has in the sport of hockey was kept a secret for many years. The world will be put on notice, when many learn the evolution of hockey started with black men. We don't have to wait until Black History Month to learn that either.
When you think about the history of the game, most history books and facts fail to mention hockeys true origin.
The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL)
"Most Canadians don’t know about this intersection in the history of Canadian culture, but it is possibly the greatest Canadian story, and one of the world’s greatest sports stories, rarely told", stated in an article from thehockeyswriterroom.com.
The hockey community has struggled with inclusivity for a while. When information like this is revealed, it's an indication that black peoples effect on the sport was not something others were necessarily proud or fond of.
The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL) was an all black team and league. It was established in 1895 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
According to the book “Black Ice” written by George and Darril Fosty, the sons and grandsons of American slaves who escaped to Canada were not given the proper credit for innovating the game.
Later, a church league, the all Black hockey league promoted athleticism over physical force. They also used it as a strategy to increase member attendance. This was well before the game became mainstream.
How Colored Hockey League Innovated Hockey
Black players in the league innovated the famous slapshot, that is widely used across the hockey league today. Normally defensemen, or bigger wingers, implement the slapshot into their game. It's the best choice for high-powered shots.
The first player to use the slapshot technique was Eddie Martin of the Halifax Eureka in 1906.
The history of the game starts with the black league. True historians are working to bring the essence of hockey back.
As stated by thehockeyswriterroom.com, "If only the average hockey fan knew the history of the game and the role that Black players had played as the game evolved early in the 20th Century."
Hockey is For Everyone
The NHL hired Kim Davis, Vice President Of Social Impact. This move indicates they are headed towards the right direction in terms of diversity in hockey. Maybe other hockey communities will follow suit.
"One of her most notable accomplishments has been the creation of the NHL's "Hockey Is For Everyone" campaign. It seeks to "use hockey as a platform for social change and positive community engagement," stated in a article from sportskeeda.com.