National Brotherhood of Skiers proves many ignorant people wrong about skiing and skin color

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 12, 2009 7:22 am



I’ve always been bothered by something. Time and time again I hear, “Why don’t black people ski?” To that, I stare with an open mouth gape and don’t really have anything to say, other than “I don’t think I’ll dignify that comment with an answer”. Well, now I know exactly what to say when I receive silly comments about race and skiing.

Ever heard of the National Brotherhood of Skiers? They’re one of the largest ski groups in the United Sates, and yes, they’re a group of African-American skiers. They recently met for a summit in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The summit, called “Winter Party with a Purpose”, has a specific goal of getting one of their racers into the Olympics. There are 8,000 strong in this group, and about 1,000 came out to Snowmass for the summit. 

Executive Vice President Cassandra Johnson said, “I wish I had gotten started earlier. Growing up I always heard ‘Black people don’t ski.’” So sad. Hopefully more and more people become aware of the NBS and other groups so they can stop thinking of skiing as mainly a “white sport”. As our colleague here at The Ski Channel, Zeke Piestrup, always says: “The best part about skiing is that it’s all-inclusive. Rich, poor, Jew, Christian, white, black, gay, straight…the mountain welcomes everyone with open arms!” 

Our sentiments exactly.