The Black Girl Hockey Club got an incredibly kind contribution Friday from a supportive NHL player.
Minnesota Wild forward JT Brown donated over $3,000 to the club’s GoFundMe that has some roots in Washington, DC.
— Black Girl Hockey Club (@BlackGirlHockey) March 8, 2019
Brown made the donation and left a public comment, saying “Happy International Women’s Day.”
The Black Girl Hockey Club is a fan-run initiative working towards non-profit status. Brown’s $3,100 contribution — the largest contribution so far — brought BGHC to their initial goal. The GoFundMe goal has since been raised to $10,000.
“A year ago, when I decided to get a group of Black girl hockey fans together and call it the Black Girl Hockey Club, I had no idea the response I would receive,” Renee Hess, the founder, said. “Diversity in hockey is so important and my goal is to increase the representation of Black women and fans of color within a sport that we all love.
“Now that the season is almost at an end, I am working on infrastructure and would like to make BGHC a Non-Profit Organization by the beginning of the next season,” she continued. “There are a lot of fees involved, as well as legal stuff that I am going to need your help with.”
The Black Girl Hockey Club held their inaugural meeting at a Capitals game at Capital One Arena.
“Seeing a group like that is pretty special,” said Smith-Pelly. “To see a group of–not only black people, but black women—-joining forces for the love of the game? It’s crazy, it’s something I never, ever thought I would see. Hopefully, that group continues to grow and grow.”
Brown’s contribution to BGHC is a small, but important and meaningful example of his activism in the NHL. He remains the only player in the NHL to protest police brutality during the national anthem.
Brown was protesting the same injustice as Colin Kaepernick and the WNBA and insisting on criminal justice reform and an end to the disproportionate violence experienced by Black people. Brown and his wife Lexi LaFleur received severe backlash after the protest, including death threats, and racist hate speech, some of it directed against their daughter. LaFleur is caucasian, and much of the hatred was focused on their young mixed-race daughter.
Brown has also done work off the ice as well, raising money for charity via his Twitch stream and with his former community in Tampa, before a trade to the Minnesota Wild brought him somewhere new.
These are the small groups that deserve your help to grow and will help enact real change in the sport – real change that has been a long time coming.
Headline photo: @JTBrown23
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