‘Black Lives Matter’ in Skiing and Snowboarding
17th June 2020
Last modified on May 14th, 2021
The campaign is reaching ski resorts as Vail Resorts promises to do more and two US athletes have been disciplined for alleged racist comments.
In the USA the National Ski Areas Association has said that of the 59.3 million recorded resort visits during the 2018-19 ski season, only 1.5% were by black skiers and snowboarders.
That equates to just under 900,000 people.
Numbers have grown by about 5% in the past 10-years, but many think much more could be done.
Vail Resorts has sent an email to staff saying we are “part of the problem.”
The CEO, Rob Katz, has said that he’s been confronted with the fact that his company and the snow sport industry as a whole is overwhelmingly white, with “incredibly low representation from people of color.”
In part it is blamed on economic and geographical influences.
The National Brotherhood of Skiers is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing participation in winter sports in the black community.
“There is no proximity to mountains,” said Henri Rivers, the President of the organisation.
“Most of the time, in our communities, we’re not close to a mountain or that type of area where we could actually engage in snow sports, so traveling is definitely a big issue.”
Others go further and claim there is not enough done to encourage skiing and snowboarding in black communities and it is seen as a predominantly white pastime.
Skiers Suspended For Alleged Racial Slurs
US Ski & Snowboard have suspended indefinitely the identical twin brothers Deven and Kiernan Fagan following allegations that they made racial slurs on social media.
Several of the 18-year-old freestyle skiers’ sponsors have also withdrawn their support.
A statement on the governing body’s website says it recently became aware of the Fagans acting in contravention of the athletes’ code of conduct.
Their return to sanctioned activities is dependent on them completing ‘diversity and sensitivity training’.
Here’s the full US Ski & Snowboard statement:
U.S. Ski & Snowboard does not condone acts of violence, underage drinking, or discriminatory language or actions that criticize, ridicule or otherwise disparage another individual’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or age.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently became aware of content that portrays Deven and Kiernan Fagan behaving in a way that is in violation of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Athlete Agreement and Code of Conduct. Effective immediately, Deven and Kiernan will be subject to a formal, indefinite suspension.
Kiernan and Deven’s return to U.S. Ski & Snowboard sanctioned activities is reliant upon completing diversity and sensitivity education. U.S. Ski & Snowboard will work closely with Kiernan and Deven in the coming months to evaluate their progress and team status.
The twins have posted an apology on Instagram: