Plans for an all-white basketball league being organized by a Georgia man received worldwide attention and scorn since he proposed it last week. But according to numerous reports, there is an all-white hockey league already in operation in North America that has been quite successful.
"I'm not inventing a new concept," said Don "Moose" Lewis, commissioner of the proposed All-American Basketball Alliance. "I don't understand why I am being called a racist when the NHL has been in a business for 94 years."
The National Hockey League, originally organized in Montreal, is now headquartered in New York City and boasts 30 franchises in major cities across North America. In recent years the league, behind the direction of commissioner Gary Bettman, has moved in the the American South hoping to sure up support there.
Bettman says the league is proud of its white heritage.
"The NHL is for fans who want a more fundamentally-sound brand of hockey," he said. "There's nothing racist about it. If hockey fans want a flashy style of hockey, they can watch any of the black hockey leagues."
An NHL spokesman quickly called to rebut and apologize for the commissioner's claims, stating that the NHL does not ban players of color and, in fact, has had several star black players including African-Canadians Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr and Jarome Iginla.
Bettman challenged that, however.
"First of all, African-Canadian sounds made up to me," he said. "And I've met this Graham and Fuhr guy and I'm blacker than they are. But, hey who knows. Maybe the NHL isn't an all-white league. I don't really follow the sport much. But when I do see games, everyone looks white to me."
Lewis says he has received interest from Bettman in becoming an investor in his all-white basketball league.