The NHL is welcoming Anheuser-Busch InBev to the ice — well, the stands. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday with Nick Kelly, Bud Light VP of Partnership, to celebrate the multiyear partnership that will make Bud Light the official beer of the hockey league in the U.S. and Budweiser will be the official beer of the league in Canada.

"It's a great opportunity for us to reach our fans," Bettman told Cheddar. "For Bud Light to reach our customers and for us to activate our brands together. Whether its events or the playoffs or the Stanley Cup final, this is a way for us to take two world-renowned fans and do great things."

However, the league has recently been facing difficult questions about diversity and the treatment of its players. Bettman talked about the changes the NHL has committed to in order to improve relations among its own employees.

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal outlined the National Hockey League's struggle to diversify. In the 2018-2019 season, there were just 50 nonwhite players. However, Bettman says the league is actively looking to reverse that.

"We've done more than has ever been done before in terms of ensuring that our game is diverse and that it's a welcoming place. We have activities and programs at the grassroots level for all levels of hockey," Bettman explained, referring to programs like Hockey Is For Everyone, a yearly initiative rolled out in February with the goal of making hockey more inclusive.

"Actually our diversity as it relates to the international composition of our player base is probably more than any other sport," he claimed. "With respect to North America, this has been an ongoing project."

"We're continuing to work on it. It is a priority but the signs of growth are there," he said.

The NHL has also been working to combat abusive behavior in the league.

A number of accusations against NHL coaches have recently come to light. Late last month Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters resigned after former NHL player, Akim Aliu accused him of using racist slurs against him 10 years ago when Aliu played for the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs. Peters was the coach.

Bettman says the league has developed a plan aimed at stopping these problems.

"What we announced is a multi-prong program where we want disclosure, we want to have a hotline, we want to have education and counseling for senior executives and coaches throughout the league. To the extent discipline is required we will investigate and discipline severely as appropriate."

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