If you don’t know who Chanel Keenan is, you’re in for a treat!
This amazing woman is following her dreams, taking her shot in sports, and helping to change the game. We’re huge fans of Chanel and we know you will be too!
MEET CHANEL KEENAN
Who are you?! What’s your day job, what are your passions, what’s something interesting about you?!
Hi! Thanks for having me! I feel so honored to have been asked to be featured! I I just graduated from college, and am working part-time (remotely) for the newest NHL Franchise, the Seattle Kraken. I work for the team as their ‘Intersectionality Consultant’. For me, this was a dream realized. I touch so many different areas of our development as an organization.
I usually think to myself that I lead a very average life! There are a few things that I would say are unique, but not particularly special. I was adopted at a very young age, and my mom actually met me at the hospital I was being treated in. I am the youngest and only girl in my family. All this to say, my middle brother and I share the same birthday, six years apart. I would call that interesting, and a bit odd!
How did you get into hockey and sports in general?
As I mentioned I am the youngest in my family. I grew up going to all my brothers’ events by default. I was definitely a ‘rink rat’ through and through. I had little to no interest in hockey when I was younger but I made the rink my home. Luckily when I hit middle school, hockey slowly seeped its way into my life, forever. Prior to my discovery of hockey, I really enjoyed watching American Football.
I love hockey and its nature of being a complete team sport. Every player needs to show up for their team. I take this energy into my life as I think we could all stand to be better teammates to each other in this life.
You’re an intersectionality consultant for the Seattle Kraken. What does this role mean to you and what’s the biggest changes you hope to see with the Kraken and all of hockey to make the game more inclusive, especially for disabled people?
Like I said, this role is a dream realized. I have done the best that I can to weasel my way into almost every area of the organization. With the reception open arms of course! Disability is intersectional—touching every area of life. Disability has no gender, race, financial status, etc. It is important that I try my best to show that to any organization to work for. As for what I see, disability and disabled people are often overlooked in everyday life.
The best part about working for the Seattle Kraken is that I get to create, rather than change. We are starting from scratch, and although that leaves room for error, it also leaves room for growth. I think I can help affect change in every area of the disabled experience in the organization. I can’t wait to see us flourish on and off the ice.
You’re also a member of GALvanize and Black Girl Hockey Club—can you talk about your role with both of those organizations and the importance of them both?
Galvanize and BGHC have an incredible immeasurable affect on me. Both organizations have taught me so much, and have given me so many lifelong friends. Shout out to my wonderful and badass Agent, Emily Staker.
BGHC is so so so important to me and to the future of hockey. They are a non-profit organization that seeks to bring the game of hockey to Black Women and girls, all around the world. They have many amazing scholarship opportunities so definitely check them out on Twitter and sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out.
Can you tell us about your podcast and mission with C More Than Sports?
I started this podcast after my amazing mentor, Laura Okmin kind of forced my hand. It was a gift and prepared me so much in ways I didn’t know. I am working on a bit of a rebrand right now so stay tuned for that. You can find out by searching @CMoreThanSports on Twitter.
Your Twitter cover photo states “Hockey Will Be For Everyone”. How can others join you in this mission to truly make hockey for everyone?
I think one of the coolest things about hockey is that its fanbase has transcended so many generations, I think we need to do better about embracing that. I even find myself feeling a bit protective of the sport, but in order to keep this beautiful game around, we need to welcome more diverse fans with open arms.
What does hockey and being a part of the sports community mean to you?
I think I am in a bit of denial when it comes to feeling like I am a member of the Hockey community both professionally, and as a fan. Being apart of this space means so much to me though. I don’t think I can quite put it into words.