Posted: February 23, 2011 by Jay Rasean in Kasual
Willie O’Ree
(born October 15, 1935)

Considered the “Jackie Robinson” of hockey, today’s feature broke a distinct color barrier by becoming the first black man to play hockey for the NHL, today we will honor, Willie O’Ree. O’Ree was a Canadian-born black man who promoted from minor leagues to the Boston Bruins in place of an injured player. Although hockey is commonly known as sport dominated by white men, O’Ree managed to skate his way to hockey hall of fame history. O’Ree wasn’t your average athlete. When I say this, I’m not referring to his race, I’m speaking in reference to the fact that O’Ree was 95% blind in his right eye and still managed to excel in his field.

Willie O’ree was another pioneer in the wonderful world of black history. I often speak on African American culture, but I would like to acknowledge that not everyone considered to be prominent components of black history are American. Willie O’Ree was indeed Canadian, and a black man. His ability to crossover to a world not frequently inhabited by black people is inspirational to say the least, which is why Willie O’ree is yet another reason why black history should be celebrated year ’round(K*W)

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