For Black History Month, we are celebrating Special Olympics’ Black athletes, volunteers and supporters who fight for inclusion every day on and off the field.
Meet David Amber, Hockey Night in Canada and NHL host on Sportsnet, as well as a member of Special Olympics Canada’s Champions Network – a group of Olympians, professional athletes, celebrities and sports personalities who support the movement. Read below for a Q&A as he reflects on Black History Month and the importance of diversity.
Q: Why is celebrating Black History Month important?
A: Black History Month is a great opportunity to reflect on the history, culture and incredible contributions of the Black community. It's also a chance to show respect for the significant sacrifice so many have made, and continue to make, in the fight for equality in all aspects of life. Last summer, my family and I attended a Black Lives Matter march in Toronto. It was uplifting to see so many people come together to call for equality and justice. Just like last summer, Black History Month is a time to recognize our struggles even as we continue to work together for change.
Q. Is there a Black athlete who has inspired you?
A: I am grateful we have so many iconic and inspiring Black athletes to look up to. Muhammed Ali, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson and Fredericton's Willie O'Ree confronted racism with dignity, class and perseverance. More recently, athletes like Colin Kaepernick, who sacrificed his career to take a stance against police brutality, continue the fight for social justice. Kaepernick and those who came before, should continue to be celebrated for their strength and courage.
Q: Why is diversity and inclusion important in sport?
A: Diversity and inclusion are the foundation for equality. The only way we can grow the sports landscape and enrich as many lives as possible is by making sure everyone has accessibility to sport. We must continue to remove the barriers that deny access to sport for many, just as Special Olympics Canada has done so well for many years.
Q: How do you foster inclusion?
A: By creating a safe and welcoming space we will foster inclusion. With inclusion comes growth and expanded engagement. Really we just need to celebrate our differences, show empathy to one another and embrace the great and unique attributes everyone has to offer.
Thank you, David!
Stay tuned throughout the month of February as we continue to celebrate Black History Month and highlight Black voices from Special Olympics across Canada.
Read more Black History Month reflections: