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Vicky Mochama: The voice of Metro News.

Sidney Crosby reinforced the notion that hockey is a league for white people: Mochama

If Crosby looked into it, he would find that the Black players of the Colored Hockey League, innovated and invented a style of fast, hard-hitting hockey that is the precursor to the sport we see now.

Rather than call a White House invite an honour, Sidney Crosby could have said that it was his honour to take the cup home to Halifax on his birthday last month, writes Vicky Mochama.

Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press

Rather than call a White House invite an honour, Sidney Crosby could have said that it was his honour to take the cup home to Halifax on his birthday last month, writes Vicky Mochama.

Late on Sunday, Sidney Crosby, the star and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins spoke up about his team’s decision to go to the White House.

Speaking to the Associated Press Crosby said, "I support it,” adding “it's a great honour for us to be invited there."

It’s a fairly standard response. But it’s notably different from the response LeBron James gave to a Trump tweet complaining that NBA champ Steph Curry was indecisive about a White House trip.

James’ tweet was pretty amazing. He said, “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

And James is right.

It was once an honour. Michelle Obama made sure you got fresh fruit, which was dope. Or Laura Bush asked if you could read, which is less cool but aight.

Slightly more importantly, you’d meet someone who read multiple pages of a national security briefing and didn’t tag his global enemies on social media. Generally speaking, you’d meet a president who didn’t treat the office with the respect the animals give to the humans during the Running of the Bulls.

So it’s odd for Crosby to describe it as an honour. At best, it is an invitation they have opened.

Crosby could have said that it was his honour to take the cup home to Halifax on his birthday last month i.e. giving the “I don’t know her” answer.

(“I don’t know her” is the answer Mariah Carey once gave to being asked about Jennifer Lopez, and it is one you could give when asked about Donald Trump.)

I personally hoped he’d say, “I can’t go to the White House until Black Lives Matter.” But then again, Sidney Crosby grew up in a place with a history of racial tension.

As Shannon McKarney brought to light in a thread, Crosby’s Halifax neighbourhood, Cole Harbour, has a history of race violence, especially within its schools.

The divide between Black Nova Scotians and white Nova Scotians remains wide. A recent UN report found that “educational inequities between African Nova Scotians and other Nova Scotians have remained unchanged after 30 years of school integration.

By proclaiming their choice on a fraught weekend, the Penguins and Crosby reinforced the notion that hockey is a league for white people. That has not been my experience of its fans. But it is true that there are perhaps just over two dozen Black players in the NHL. And most are Canadian.

And if Crosby looked into it, he would find that the Black players of the Colored Hockey League, founded in the Maritimes with teams operating out of Africvillle, innovated and invented a style of fast, hard-hitting hockey that is the precursor to the hockey we see now. Were it not for racism, there would be more Black Canadian hockey players today.

As an ambassador for not just Canada, but specifically Nova Scotia and Canadian hockey, Crosby’s statement wasn’t just bland; it was white.

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