Hockey announcers set to make history as NHL’s first all-black TV show
Thursday night’s hockey game between the Seattle Kraken and the Winnipeg Jets will feature a first in NHL history.
Kraken announcers JT Brown and Everett Fitzhugh will team up to host the NHL’s first-ever all-black TV show.
Brown, the Kraken’s regular color commentator, will be joined by Fitzhugh, the team’s play-by-play radio announcer, for the game as Seattle’s regular television lead voice John Forslund will be on a different network. .
“It all comes down to representation issues, that’s the main theme here,” Fitzhugh told NHL.com.
“I didn’t have black diffusers [and] play-by-play people to look up to when I was growing up. I didn’t know play-by-play was an option until I got to college, career-wise. So to have that scene, to have that platform with [Brown] and to show people that “Hey, there are two black men calling hockey games” is something that I hope will inspire other people.
The TV show will be the latest in a list of NHL accomplishments for Fitzhugh, who has announced games at the ECHL, USHL and NCAA levels. When he was hired by the Kraken in 2020 ahead of their inaugural season, Fitzhugh became the league’s first full-time black broadcaster.
Brown, meanwhile, is in his first season in the stand following a seven-year NHL career playing for Minnesota, Anaheim and Tampa Bay.
“Those are baby steps, move the needle,” Brown told NHL.com. “I think the league as a whole is taking steps to feel more inclusive, and that can be one of them. [Having] Black play-by-play and color commentators I think is a great thing just for visual representation.