New Rochelle’s Kim Davis works to help diversify NHL’s fan base

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Kimberly Davis, a New Rochelle resident who grew up on the south side of Chicago, is working to make the game of ice hockey more accessible to everyone.

Davis was named as the NHL’s executive vice president for social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs since 2017. Since then, Davis, a black woman in a sport generally dominated by white players and coaches, has launched her campaign, “Hockey is for Everyone.”

"A lot of the image of our sport, particularly in the minority communities, has to do with our just not reaching out. But the sport is actually a very close-knit welcoming sport when your part of it,” she told News 12.

Even though she loved ice skating as a child, Davis and her sports-addicted family never warmed to ice hockey.

"I often wondered…why hockey just wasn't something that seems to be a part of black culture," she says.

When Davis joined the NHL after decades in the banking industry, she soon found out black people were actually pioneers in the sport and have been playing hockey since 1895. That's when the colored hockey league was formed. It lasted nearly 40 years and served as a pre-cursor to the NHL.

The campaign she began is part of an effort to diversify the NHL’s fan base. A big part of the initiative can be seen inside a 53-foot long mobile museum that chronicles black hockey history. It’s traveling to different NHL teams in February as part of Black History Month.

News 12 was there outside the Devil’s home ice at the Prudential Center when defenseman P.K. Subban stopped by.

"Hopefully, we're going to get some more black players holding up Stanley Cups on the wall and I hope to be one of them,” he says.

 

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