Ex NHL player and long term pro
This conversation with Nathan LaFayette was not what I had planned.
We never talked about his experience getting drafted 65th overall in 1991 by St. Louis.
We never discussed the gold medal he won as a member of Canada’s 1993 World Junior Team.
I never asked him what it was like to play with legendary leader Mark Messier in New York.
Episode 31. Season 1. Aug 30, 2020
Nathan had a tumultuous pro hockey career. He was traded 3 times, always bouncing between the minors and the Show, and he battled injuries and concussions, which ultimately ended his pro hockey career.
But the conversation ended up centering on race and diversity and his experience as a BIPOC athlete in a predominately white environment.
This conversation was poignant. Voices like Nathan’s need to be heard and I am grateful he chose to share his experience and perspective. The time for change is upon us and to move forward as a sport and a society we need to acknowledge the past, address the present and collaborate on the best avenues to move forward in the future.
Nathan is currently SVP and Chief Insurance Officer at BCAA and has been in leadership executive positions since he left the game. He understands how high-performance cultures are created and built. He knows what promotes human thriving. Inclusive, diverse, and safe work places – whether those fields of play are office buildings or arenas -provide the highest engagement rates and therefore the greatest potential for team and individual success.
Marginalizing people because of their skin color, sexual orientation, place of birth, or religious affiliation is not something we can tolerate on an individual or a collective level anymore.
It starts with conversations like this one. We can’t all be at the NHL round table with the likes of Evander Kane, Gary Bettman, Matt Dumba and Nathan LaFayette, but we can do our part to engage in open discussion, to be empathetic, and to support change that is long overdue.
Enjoy this episode. I hope it inspires you to share it and to spark discussions in your own inner circle.