It seems that more players are speaking openly about their experiences with racism on the ice, and the latest story shines a light on youth player Anthony Allain-Samaké’s experiences. The reoccurring theme seems to be that these kids seek help from authoritative figures (refs, coaches), however, these problems tend to be unresolved. This usually leads to the harassed kids eventually leaving the team, which was what Anthony Allain-Samaké chose to do.
Another youth hockey player, Blesson Ethan Citegetse, 14, who plays for Les Loups des Collines at the Bantam BB level, also expressed his experiences of being called the N – word while he was in the penalty box. “I was sad because … hockey is a sport where we’re all a family. We’re all hockey players. We should all have respect for each other.” – Blesson Ethan Citegetse.
These stories are disheartening to say the least, and the players that choose to endure the hardship, based on their inseparable love for the sport shouldn’t have to. This is because everyone has a breaking point, and kids can become unpredictable when that point is reached.
Hopefully with this constant media attention shining a light on this issue, a strong movement towards positive change can occur. Ultimately education is the key to deconstruct racial narratives, which is especially true for our youth. This will change their framework from hate to acceptance, which is ultimately the best way to stop the cycle. This is because reoccurring disciplinary actions without addressing the root cause of the hate, is just a band aid solution, and not long term one. We need to set the foundation for these kids with proper education so that they can be the positive example for future generations to come.