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LETTER: Diversity, merit and pro sports teams

In response to the Aug. 5 story, “Lehner, Reaves help break ice”: The article states the Golden Knights duo “became the first NHL players to kneel in uniform during the American and Canadian anthem Monday.” The players say that “the NHL, and hockey in general, has nowhere near the diversity of other sports.” An NHL VP is later quoted as saying “We know there’s much work ahead.”

Certainly there is “work to do” regarding the racial slurs that some of these players have endured and possibly in the front offices, but how do you diversify the players?

The NHL actually leads the major sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) in diversity by player’s country of origin, however the foreign countries where hockey is popular are less diverse than America so comparing and adjusting NHL demographics to the other sports may not be realistic.

Also, in recent decades, the hiring of players in all of these major sports has become a meritocracy (get the best players possible). Are we now at the point that teams need to hire less talented players in order to be diversified?

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