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Hockey goaltender fights for equality on the ice

KIFI

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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — In hockey, every goaltender has a meaning behind the designs on their mask.

UNO sophomore net minder Isaiah Saville has his own unique design – one that represents his home state, his school, and most important to him, his culture.

“Really special for me to put Martin Luther King, Jr. on the back with a section of his I have a dream speech,” said Saville. “Kind of just showing my support and my connection with the Black community. Also being a Black hockey player, you’re kind of a minority in this sport, too.”

Saville is in the minority on his own team.

The goaltender is the only black player on the Maverick roster, and the first in the program since 2012.

Saville, knowing his helmet could create some unwanted criticism, used this as an opportunity to open a dialogue with his teammates.

“Sometimes they have questions about it too,” he added. “My teammates are great about asking, hey this is going on, like how do I react to it. Even if I’m white, how can I help?”

The Alaska native’s actions go further than the words on his mask.

The past several years, he’s spent time mentoring and coaching a fellow black goalie in his hometown of Anchorage, AK.

“I’ve taught him more honestly about, a little bit more of life and playing this sport as a Black hockey goalie,” Saville said. “And how what’s going to come at you and all the obstacles you may face.”

After experiencing discrimination himself during his time on the ice, Saville is now focused on pushing for change for the future of black players in his sport.

And he’s doing it with some inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have a dream…”

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