Blackhawks victory and World Cup should inspire more diversity in sports

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and now the World Cup is about to begin.

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It's a little crazy to follow all this for a sports novice like myself.

But I'm so happy the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup after 49 years and to see how such a victory brings together people of all backgrounds.

I think hockey has been thought of as a sport played mostly by whites but I know there are plenty fans of color. The NHL actually has players from 18 countries and more than half of them are Canadian.

That's fine by me as I'm in favor of immigration and diversity in all forms. I love Canadians too.

True there are few African-Americans and Latinos on professional hockey teams compared to other sports like baseball. Among the Latino hockey players are Bill Guerin with Pittsburgh Penguins, Scott Gomez with the Montreal Canadiens, Al Montoya, born in Glenview with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, and Raffi Torres with the Buffalo Sabres.

But I'm sure a win like this for Chicago will inspire young people of all backgrounds to want to play hockey. I know that it has inspired fans of all ethnicities. Just reading the comments from my friends on Facebook tells that story.

"Alright Blackhawks!!! Got a black girl watchn hockey!," one of my friends posted.

Another friend, who is Latina, wrote a bilingual celebratory post, "Miles y miles de personas en el centro de Chicago. Fireworks, gritos, cantos... What a happy moment!"

Moving on to the World Cup, this is an amazing international event that brings together people from all nationalities.

The first game is host country South Africa vs. Mexico, which airs at 9 a.m. central time Friday. The United States plays England on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. central.

The opening ceremony kicks off tonight. Latino rockers Shakira and Juanes, both from Colombia and human rights activists, will perform. So will Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas and others.

A few local blogs you can follow for World Cup action include Gerardo Cardenas blogging at Copa Cafe and Rodolfo Jimenez blogging at FutbolHoy.

It's an exciting time for sports, and hopefully all these games will bring people of all backgrounds closer together.

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  • What's your thought on our Blackhawks still using an image/caricature of an American Indian?

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