Anson Carter: Hockey Culture
Introducing 'Hockey Culture', and NBC Sports multi-platform content series
By Anson Carter
"You hear the term hockey culture used a lot in our sport. Often, it’s a flattering term, or even a badge of honor. Lay your body on the line to block a shot? Give credit to others for your personal accomplishment? These are no-brainers for hockey players. It’s part of the culture.
But in my 40-plus years involved with this game, I’ve come to learn that hockey culture is not entirely positive. Along with everything that makes this the greatest sport in the world – the camaraderie, the sacrifice, the joy of scoring a goal, just to name a few – there are still fundamental problems.
In many ways, hockey is grappling with the same issues as our society at large. There are significant barriers to entry for minority or underprivileged youths. Those who do take up the sport risk entering a locker room that does not welcome them – no matter what level of play. And there is a serious lack of diversity in leadership positions.
I have experienced all those things first-hand, and it is disappointing that hockey still falls short in these important areas. But I have always been someone who sees the positive in a situation. For every problem, there is an opportunity for a solution.
That is why NBC Sports and I are launching Hockey Culture, a multi-platform content offering whose sole purpose is to champion equality and inclusivity at all levels of the sport. We plan to use this space to address problematic topics on and off the ice, improve the diversity of the game, and create more engagement in communities where hockey isn’t as accessible. . . ."