The NHL Just Got Its First-Ever Black General Manager, Thanks To The San Jose Sharks, And Here’s Why It’s Important For Representation In Hockey

Mike Grier has made history becoming the first Black man in NHL history to hold a general manager position. This Tuesday, he was appointed as the San Jose Sharks’ general manager. 

READ MORE: Toronto’s Auston Matthews Just Won MVP Of The NHL, No Maple Leafs Player Has Done That Since 1955, And He Scored More Goals Than Anyone In The Past Decade

The former Sharks and Buffalo Sabres player spent 14 seasons in the NHL. Grier is replacing GM Mike Will, who took over Doug Wilson’s position (due to medical reasons) in November 2021. Wilson had occupied the GM position for over 19 years. 

Grier is no stranger to the game of hockey; besides playing, he spent two seasons as an assistant with the New Jersey Devils from 2018 to 2020. In 2021, he was hired as an adviser to hockey operations for the New York Rangers. Between 2014 and 2018, he served as a scout for the Chicago Blackhawks. 

In recent years, there has been a push to eradicate systemic racism from a sport played mostly by Caucasian men and women. 

Players are consciously creating change.

The Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) was created to inspire and educate new and old generations of hockey players and fans about systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. 

Various hockey players, including Canadian P.K. Subban, have been very vocal regarding their personal experiences with racism and they strive to create change. 

Recently, Nazem Kadri made history by becoming the first Muslim player to win the Stanley Cup. He won with the Colorado Avalanche but previously spent 10 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kadri has been vocal about the racial abuse he’s faced due to being a Muslim. During an interview with Sportsnet, he spoke about how proud he was to represent Muslim Canadians. 

“For us, we’re Canadians at heart, first and foremost — and we’re proud to be Muslim Canadians,” he told Sportsnet.

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