The Seattle Kraken has announced that they have hired Everett Fitzhugh as their first broadcaster. The hiring is historic as it features the first Black team broadcaster in NHL history. There is still time to add more broadcast and news staff but things are slowly coming together for the league’s newest franchise. Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic broke down the hiring early Friday afternoon.
BREAKING: The Seattle Kraken have made NHL history by hiring the league's first Black team broadcaster in Cincinnati Cyclones play-by-play announcer Everett Fitzhugh. @TheVoiceFitz
Here is how it all happened: https://t.co/fTnvzjkBKR
— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) August 7, 2020
Kraken Hire Everett Fitzhugh
Fitzhugh was previously the radio play-by-play man for the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. The Cyclones are the league’s affiliate for the Buffalo Sabres. He is the only Black broadcaster at any level of professional hockey in North America. Fitzhugh was a fan of the Detroit Red Wings as a child. He then served as the play-by-play announcer for Bowling Green State in college.
This hiring is notable on several levels. It gives Seattle yet another way to separate itself in how it is presenting its image to the rest of the league. They already had an ambitious climate-oriented arena and now they have a talented broadcast personality from a group not traditionally considered in hockey circles. Fitzhugh’s hiring is very exciting as it is a great example that Seattle and the NHL are concerned with broadening its representation to its viewers.
What This Means for the Future
The team obviously has a name and now they have one of its primary voices in television or radio coverage. Clark’s article indicates that we don’t know if Fitzhugh will be on TV or the radio yet but that will come when more of the broadcast rights are decided.
The Kraken also hired another African-American for its broadcast production team in Lamont Buford. Burford will be the Vice President of Gameday Presentation. Seattle is clearly committed to diversity in its workplace and demonstrating that hockey is, indeed, for everyone. More decisions of this sort are sure to come between now and the start of play in 2021-22.
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