Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cultural Milestone in Canada

That Hockey Night in Canada hired former NHL goaltender Kevin Weekes as a commentator for their TV broadcasts isn't particularly noteworthy, what is noteworthy is that Weekes is Black and that this marks the first time that a person of color has had a regular role on Canada's most popular sports broadcast.

Sports Illustrated notes that the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada is a national institution, but it is also a fairly conservative one (aside from commentator Don Cherry's flamboyant sports coats). Therefore the inclusion of Weekes, the son of immigrant parents from Barbados, is a nod to the changing face of Canada, an admission of how the country is quickly becoming a multi-ethnic land thanks to liberal immigration policies. As SI notes: "the broadcast booth will look a little more like Canada once Weekes...makes his regular season debut Thursday."

And to any doubters out there, the CBC insists Weekes earned his job on merit, thanks to a fantastic audition tape calling a mock game. Weekes played in the NHL for twelve seasons and appeared in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals with the Carolina Hurricanes.
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