Blog Archives

Declaration of Principles Praised in Tampa

By Tom Gulitti, NHL

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In September, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association unveiled hockey’s Declaration of Principles, developed to create the best possible family hockey experience, and was adopted by 17 hockey organizations globally.

The next step in advancing those principles came Friday at the 2018 NHL All-Star Declaration of Principles Summit at the Westin Tampa Waterside, which kicked off 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in Tampa.

Emceed by NHL Network analyst and former NHL goaltender Kevin Weekes, the summit featured an array of experts who shared their insights on how the principles can be applied to improving the athletes’ and fans’ experiences in hockey and in all sports. Keynote speakers at the summit, attended by 300 invited guests from hockey organizations across the United States and Canada, included WWE personality Titus O’Neil, former NHL player and coach Ted Nolan and author, educator and activist Tony Porter.

“Our hope is today these conversations can set an example, they can inform, they can enlighten and they can produce new ideas for growing our game and new ways to interact and develop, perhaps even create new audiences, and now especially, and hopefully, support our core belief that hockey is for everyone,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik expressed hope the summit can be continued at future All-Star Weekends. The 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition is at Amalie Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports), and the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game is Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports)

“This morning marks one of those opportunities to have conversations about athletes’ involvement in the community, increasing diversity of hockey at all levels and life skill development,” Vinik said. “These are all important conversations that should happen at all levels of society, from business leaders to politicians and down to the grassroots level.”

Read the full story here.

The Battle for Girls’ Sports

Good Sports
by Anya Alvarez

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On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into place 37 words that would inevitably change the future of girls in sports:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

This legislation effectively opened the door for girls to have equal access to sports in their schools. In 1971, only 310,000 girls and women in the U.S. participated in high and college sports, compared with the 3.5 million girls and women who play sports today.

Despite Title IX’s success, there are still fewer girls playing sports compared with boys. By the time girls turn 14 years old, they are twice as likely to drop out of playing sports for a variety of reasons, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. Lack of access plays a significant part. WSF, founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King in 1974, estimates that girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have.

To help fight that gap, several sports organizations over the years have been founded to help engage girls in athletics who otherwise would have never played or who would have quit playing.

Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder of Play Like a Girl, grew up after Title IX was enacted. Regardless, sports were not an option for her to play in her small town of rural Mississippi.

Early in my life, I struggled with my weight. I was physically active in the sense of normal childhood activities like climbing trees and running around outside but didn’t have equal opportunity compared to my brothers to participate in sports,” Clay recalled.

Being a high achiever in other areas, I never really processed that I didn’t play sports in high school or middle school.”

Read the full story here.


Seahawks Star Donates All Of His Endorsement Money To Help Rebuild Minority Communities

Good Sports
By Penn Collins



Seahawk’s star Michael Bennett has always been outspoken about social issues. Now Bennett has announced that all of his 2017 endorsement money will be donated to minority communities and aiding women of color. Further, Bennett will be giving 50 percent of his jersey sale proceeds to fund public gardens in low-income areas.

Bennett’s gifts came after he saw Chance the Rapper’s high-profile press conference in which the hip-hop star, frustrated after meeting with the Illinois governor, pledged $1 million to fund Chicago public schools.

Previously, Bennett, along with his brother, Martellus—a former tight end for the New England Patriots, who just signed with the Green Bay Packers—has spoken out on matters such as Black Lives Matter and the scattered national anthem protests prior to NFL games. Bennett also penned an essay entitled, “Why I Stand with the Women’s Strike” for the Day Without a Woman project on International Women’s Day.

The NFL star announced his initiative via an Instagram featuring his three daughters.

Read the full story here.