NHL Finally Takes Women Seriously

lexi female player NHL video gameYou don't have to be a hockey mom to be a female who loves the sport. These days, women of all ages are avid followers and players of hockey. Fourteen-year-old Lexi Peters is one, a fan and a player of the game for the past four years. But a little while back, the Buffalo, New York native found herself seriously frustrated, asking her father, "Why aren't there girls in the NHL video game?" He said, "I don't know, write a letter," so she did.

She sent a typewritten letter to the execs of Electronic Arts (EA), one of the hugest video game makers in the world, which read, "It is unfair to women and girl hockey players around the world, many of them who play and enjoy your game. I have created a character of myself, except I have to be represented by a male and that’s not fun."

For real! It stinks that the only way Lexi could make a man-ish player even slightly resemble her was by giving him "hockey hair." Ha!

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EA could have argued that until the NHL itself has females playing alongside males, they wouldn't consider it. But the letter actually gave the top producer of the NHL titles, David Littman, a much-needed wake-up call!

He said he realized that by not having female players in the game, he was ignoring a "growing audience playing the NHL game," and he needed to do something to "capture them." YES! Awesome!

What's even cooler is that Littman took it upon himself to help Lexi out. He ran the idea by the NHL and EA's legal department, got permission, and then broke the news to the teen that they were adding a female character option to the next edition of the video game, NHL 12. But that's not all! The "default" female player that games would be able to customize would be none other than Lexi herself! OMG, talk about a hockey gal's dream come true!

I'm so psyched for Lexi, but also for all women who play or just love hockey. Manon Rheaume, the only woman to ever play in the real NHL when she was signed to the Tampa Bay Lightning as a goalie in 1992 and played in two exhibition games, even commented that the EA change is "exciting to see, because so many girls play hockey now." It really is a major step, and hopefully, a sign that women in sports will be all the more able to move forward. With hope, someday, Lexi can play for the real-life NHL!

What do you think about Lexi's story?


Image via EA

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