All 31 teams in the National Hockey League are expected to recognize the “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative during the 2019-20 season in order to “drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.” But the St. Louis Blues won’t be in St. Louis for their HIFE celebration on March 24, as they will be 900 miles away, playing a game against the Washington Capitals.
Instead, Blues fans can instead attend a “Hockey is for Everyone Celebration and Watch Party” at Enterprise Center for the cost of $10 per person. Those in attendance “will have the best view in the city as they watch the game on the center-hung scoreboard in a home-game-like atmosphere.”
The Blues are going to have to do a lot more than just talk the talk if they expect to convince the members of any minority community that they’re included in the Blues’ definition of “everyone.” A “home-game-like atmosphere” is not a home game. St. Louis fans who have the “best view in the city” will still have worse views than any seat in Capital One Arena, since, in St. Louis, they’ll be craning their necks to see the game on the scoreboard, instead of watching their home team play on their home ice. A real commitment to diversity requires actual work, not empty gestures.
The event is an insult to the fans it’s meant to welcome.