Detroit native Everett Fitzhugh trailblazing in hockey as NHL's first Black play-by-play announcer

Posted at 11:19 PM, Mar 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 15:50:41-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Everett Fitzhugh was born and raised in Detroit and on the 1990's era of the Red Wings. From Hockeytown, his passion has taken him on a path through hockey, leading to the NHL where he hopes to be a trailblazer for other African Americans in and around the sport.

He said he started to like hockey when he wanted to fit in with other kids at school, saying "I wanted to be cool too." He began watching the Red Wings teams of the 1990's and fell in love.

In addition, he was able to watch Canadian broadcasts of hockeys from Windsor, Ontario. That's where he began to watch the Edmonton Oilers and felt inspired when he saw representation that he felt was lacking in the sport of hockey. The Oilers had up to three Black hockey players on their roster at once, which was a welcoming sign to Fitzhugh, a hockey fan from Northwest Detroit.

From there, he graduated from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School and began his hockey broadcasting career at Bowling Green State University. He jumped around as a broadcaster through the sport of hockey and eventually landed a job with the Seattle Kraken. He's in his second year with the team and said it was always his dream to make it to the NHL.

Without necessarily trying to make history, Fitzhugh became the NHL's first Black full-time play-by-play announcer. He hopes he inspires and welcomes other hockey fans of color, just as he was inspired watching the Oilers of the 90s. It's a role he finds special and one he doesn't take lightly.

Returning to Detroit to call Kraken games against the Red Wings is something very special to Fitzhugh. Growing up as a Red Wings fan, he said you never know how special a place is to you until you return back doing the job you love.

In the crowd, when the Wings played the Kraken, Fitzhugh had his mother and other family and friends in the crowd. While he hopes the Kraken win the games he calls, he said he always will have a soft spot for the team in red and white, sporting the winged wheel.