Tennessee State University will become first HBCU to offer NCAA ice hockey

Ahead of the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee State University has announced that it will become the first HBCU to introduce college hockey. TSU’s ice hockey program was formed through a partnership with the NHL, the NHLPA, and the Nashville Predators.

Whether TSU will get a men’s hockey team, women’s hockey team, or both still remains to be seen. A more formal announcement is expected prior to the start of the 2023 draft at Bridgestone Arena.

This is another step from the NHL and the NHLPA in attempting to reach more players and fans from diverse backgrounds. On Tuesday, the league announced the creation of the Player Inclusion Coalition (PIC), which is a collection of 20 former NHL and women’s professional hockey players “who will work to advance equality and inclusion in the sport of hockey.”

Former NHL players Anson Carter and P.K. Subban are the co-chairs of the organization, Carter said the group wants to create positive change for “underrepresented groups” within the game.

“Every member of the NHL Player Inclusion Coalition shares a passion to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of the hockey community. It has been incredible to work together to amplify the role of Players as advisors, ambassadors, and catalysts for real change, which benefits underrepresented groups in the game,” Carter said in a statement. “As we enter the coalition’s next phase, we are excited to grow our impact by sharing more of our work with fans to invite everyone who loves hockey to join the movement with us.”

The NHL and NHLPA have set aside $1 million for the PIC to begin its efforts in making hockey a more inclusive sport.

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