Tennessee State University Considering Ice Hockey Programs
By Briasia Russ
Tennessee State University is considering adding ice hockey programs for both men and women. The Historically Black College and University has partnered with the National Hockey League, the Nashville Predators franchise, and College Hockey. Results of a decision is expected in Fall 2021.
Feasibility study explores possibility of TSU becoming first HBCU to have men’s, women’s hockey teams. Read more at https://t.co/7L5M1YKvL1#TeamTSU NHL NCAA Hockey Nashville Predators pic.twitter.com/ruirRpN8CE
— Tennessee State University (@TSUedu) May 21, 2021
Hockey is becoming a popular sport for both Black and Hispanic Americans. According to the National Hockey League, there are at least thirteen Black players on NCAA Division I and III women’s hockey rosters this season. There were only four players in 2019.
According to Black Enterprise, if the HBCU chooses to add the programs, it would not only be the first HBCU ice hockey program but it would also be the first varsity hockey program in the state.
According to CNN, the new program is an opportunity to increase diversity.
“The idea of establishing a collegiate hockey program at TSU is a tremendous opportunity as the nation’s first HBCU to take on this endeavor,” President Glenda Glover said. “This allows us to expand the sport, increase diversity, and introduce a new fan base.”
According to Black Enterprise, the NHL has suffered back lash for not doing enough to protect their Black players.
As a result, the Hockey Diversity Alliance was created to “eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey” by former and current Black NHL players.