In honor of International Women’s Day on Sunday, the NHL will feature an all-female broadcast crew for the St. Louis Blues-Chicago Blackhawks game. This marks the first NHL game broadcast and produced exclusively by women. @KathrynTappen has more on this story. pic.twitter.com/bPTTRAUClc— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 7, 2020
The NHL has had an interesting relationship with both female and minority fans over the years. The NHL sometimes does things like have a female do colour commentary for games or even join the studio in the playoffs, but they have pulled out all the stops and allowed women to do a whole game; play-by-play, colour commentary, and production this year.
But is this anything more than a small gesture to hide the fact that the NHL does the bare minimum for female fans? It feels like pandering because the NHL does not regularly have women in positions like colour commentator on national broadcasts and it took until last year for a woman to play-by-play when Cassie Campbell-Pascal stepped up in an emergency.
The NHL does not have to make an all-female team a thing. They could simply add women to their regular rotation of colour commentators and play-by-play people and use them throughout the season. It is much more meaningful to change something long-term than do a gimmick for a day.
The NHL has a poor track record when it comes to how they treat female fans. Instead of trying to make real changes across the board to help make female fans’ experience better, the NHL is pandering to females on International Women’s Day with the all female broadcast crew. Make this a regular thing and make more changes and it will show a commitment to females involved in hockey.