Sarah Nurse started enjoying hockey as a result of she beloved skating. “My dad truly received me out on a neighborhood pond once I was 3 years previous, and he taught me how one can skate,” she informed CelebrityPie. She naturally drifted towards hockey and commenced enjoying organized hockey when she was 5, enjoying with boys solely till she was round 11 or 12 years previous.
Within the hockey group, Nurse defined that she knew she was “a bit of bit totally different.” She was all the time the one woman on the ice and within the area, she stated. “It is such a male-dominated house that, me being the one woman, I caught out ever since I used to be 5 years previous.” Nurse ultimately ended up enjoying for a ladies group, and stated, “I used to be so excited as a result of I used to be enjoying with ladies who shared the identical ardour and all beloved hockey as a lot as I did.”
She described her teammates on each the boys’ and ladies’ groups as “completely superb,” however that did not hold her from noticing that her look was totally different than theirs. She noticed the distinction between her teammates’ “straight and clean hair” and her curly hair, and was conscious her household was the one Black household within the area.
“I positively have sort of a singular lens into racism, as a result of I even have a privilege of being lighter skinned, and that is one thing I acknowledge and know as a reality,” Nurse stated when requested if her ethnicity and her look ever impacted how she was handled in comparison with her white teammates. However even with that privilege, she’s skilled microaggressions and racist feedback adopted up with, “You are not likely that Black, so that does not apply to you.”
As knowledgeable hockey participant, Nurse stated, “I feel the circumstances are nonetheless just about the identical.” There aren’t many ladies of coloration within the sport, “And so it is sort of disheartening, as a result of that is positively one thing we need to change. We need to change the panorama of hockey, however it’s nonetheless very comparable.” Over time, and particularly in 2020, quite a few sports activities leagues and establishments haven’t any selection however to start to face the inequities which have stood in place for years as athletes and different leaders inside the varied communities demand change.
“It is unhappy as a result of individuals should not should show why they’re there. You need to be allowed to like the game and have enjoyable on the sport to play.”
Within the hockey world, Nurse stated there are numerous inequalities relating to each race and gender. “And so I feel, finally, we have to have a look at hiring practices, and we have to have a look at people who find themselves in positions of energy and what these individuals appear to be.” To ensure that hockey to develop and “not be in a stagnant place,” Nurse stated it is crucial to have extra ladies and other people of coloration in these positions of energy, to create an open and inclusive setting and alter the face of hockey, as an alternative of it simply being white, older males.
Nurse defined that hockey is hard, and that if she wasn’t proficient, she might have pursued one thing else, as a result of as an individual of coloration, you continuously should show why you are there and why you belong. “It is unhappy as a result of individuals should not should show why they’re there. You need to be allowed to like the game and have enjoyable on the sport to play.”
Hockey is “miles behind different main sports activities leagues and sports activities organizations,” Nurse stated, as a result of the game is “exceptionally white.” However, she does consider the hockey group is starting to acknowledge the inequities within the sport and taking the required steps to implement change on all ranges.
There is not one excellent strategy to make the game extra inclusive and numerous, however to get extra younger, nonwhite athletes within the sport, Nurse stated Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, and the Nationwide Hockey League want to guide by taking a place towards the inequities within the sport. Additionally they have to amplify voices of coloration and girls of coloration, she stated, “to be sure that individuals perceive our sport is open and inclusive to all people, as a result of I do not assume up till now that is occurred in any respect.” It is time for hockey to obtain a serious makeover, and Nurse is without doubt one of the athletes main the cost.
Picture Supply: Adidas