Thrashers Hoping Black Fans Notice Diverse Roster

February 1, 2011  |  

(AP) — Dustin Byfuglien looks around the Atlanta Thrashers locker room and sees a bunch of guys who look like him.  The Thrashers are just the second team in NHL history to have five black players on the roster, which is even more significant in a city with a huge, affluent African-American population.  The team has beefed up its advertising on urban radio stations and black-oriented publications, focusing heavily on Byfuglien (BUFF-lin) and 19-year-old Evander Kane. Anthony Stewart and Johnny Oduya have also played significant roles this season, while Nigel Dawes has gotten in a handful of games.  Given the Thrashers rank near the bottom of the league in attendance, marketing officials are trying to boost hockey’s presence in Atlanta’s black community.

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