A popular group sports blog cut an anonymous hockey blogger’s page from their site after it suggested that the NHL only added black players to the All-Star Game to attract black fans.
The page, sponsored by the popular Kukla’s Korner group sports blog site and called “The Puck Stops Here,” was eliminated after the January 11 posting.
The post charged the NHL with “preferentially selecting black players,” for the All-Star Game with the sole purpose of “recruiting black hockey fans.”
As of 2014, black players made up about 30 out of the 690-some players in the National Hockey League. That means that black players comprise about 5 percent of the NHL. With four black players at once on the All-Star roster, the writer of the blog found the number somewhat suspicious.
The blogger also considered these players unworthy of inclusion saying, “I argue that none of the four are playing well enough that they should be in the game based on their play so far this season.”
The blogger’s central argument went this way:
I think that the fact the NHL seems to have preferentially added black players to the All Star rosters when none should have made the team on their own merits is suspicious. It is quite likely that they are being added in an attempt to market the game of NHL hockey to black fans. I find it hard to believe that Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Okposo and Seth Jones all made the All Star team on their own merits.
There is nothing wrong with trying to market hockey to black fans but preferentially adding them to the All Star Game when more qualified other players are omitted seems dishonest.
But the owner of the group blog, Paul Kukla, decided not only to delete the blog entry he found offensive, but also to ban “The Puck Stops Here” from appearing on his group blog.
“First off, the author of The Puck Stops Here will no longer be allowed to write again for KK,” Kukla wrote on his page early on the morning after the post originally appeared.
Kukla admitted that the author of the blog had written for a long time and had never done anything to meet with disfavor before. But, Kukla went on to note his intolerance of the “offensive” blog entry.
“It does not reflect my beliefs and I was disgusted with the topic itself. I see hockey players in one way only, they are players. Race, gender, etc. do not come into play in my mind, just hockey,” he said.
Regardless, it seems that Paul Kukla is not one much for a diversity of opinions on his hockey blog.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.