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FIRST SEASON OF NBC SPORTS’ HOCKEY CULTURE LED BY ANSON CARTER AVAILABLE ACROSS NBC SPORTS DIGITAL PLATFORMS

Dedicated YouTube Channel Features 15 Interviews in Three Months Since Launch; Guests Include Gary Bettman, Ryan Reaves, Harnarayan Singh and Kelsey Koelzer

Carter Penned Hockey Culture Story for Virtual 2020 Stanley Cup Final Program

STAMFORD, Conn. Nov. 16, 2020 – The first season of NBC Sports’ Hockey Culture, a multi-platform content offering dedicated to bringing equality and inclusion to the sport of hockey, is now available in its entirety across NBC Sports digital platforms. Led by NBC Sports NHL analyst Anson Carter, Hockey Culture addresses contemporary topics within the sport, aims to promote diversity around the game and on the ice, and increases community engagement with hockey.

“I was blown away by the reception of Hockey Culture within the hockey and non-hockey community,” said Carter. “Everyone was so willing to give their time to talk about stories that were an eyeopener for many people. Even though we have a long way to go when it comes to diversity in the game of hockey, there is representation within the sport that people were pumped to see highlighted.”

In the three months since its launch, Hockey Culture’s dedicated YouTube Channel features 15 total interviews with guests that span the sport, including players, executives, media members and coaches across a number of ethnicities, including Black, South Asian and Latino.

The two most recent episodes spotlight Los Angeles Kings prospect Akil Thomas and assistant director of player personnel for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Rod Braceful. Additional featured conversations include:

  • NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Senior Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs, Kim Davis;
  • Vegas Golden Knights forward and entrepreneur Ryan Reaves;
  • Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi commentator Harnarayan Singh;
  • Arcadia University head coach Kelsey Koelzer, the first black female head coach in NCAA hockey history.

Selected quotes from Hockey Culture interviews are below:

Gary Bettman on what progress he hopes to see in the sport of hockey in the next five years: “To me, progress looks like we become more reflective of the communities in which our teams play. That there are black players, players of both sexes, players of color, that we are more diverse than we have been…I want to make sure that anybody feels comfortable and welcome to play hockey or being part of the hockey family at any level of our game.”

Harnarayan Singh on recent efforts to promote inclusion in the sport: “Everything matters and it is so important to relay the message that we are all one. Humanity is together. It doesn’t matter how we look on the outside, on the inside, we’re all the same species.”

Kelsey Koelzer on how to increase inclusivity within the sport: “Once you get to the top level of NHL and women’s professional hockey, it’s a little too late at that point. I really think there’s a huge importance to be put on grassroots level activations…I think the NHL has made a great start in trying to expose the game to as many different people as possible…there are a lot of programs, but a lot of it stems from exposure to the younger generation.”

Carter has also penned two longform stories, including a story titled All Aboard: Making Hockey Truly For Everyone that appeared in the virtual 2020 Stanley Cup Final program. The initiative’s mission statement can be read here.

There will be a brief hiatus in new content before a second season gets underway around the start of the 2020-21 NHL season.

--NBC SPORTS--

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Matt Potolski

203-356-2719

Matt.Potolski@nbcuni.com