Today around Major League Baseball, African-American ball-players were wearing the #42 in honour of the great Jackie Robinson, known for being the first African-American baseball player to break the colour barrier. This got me thinking, should the NHL do the same for the first black hockey player, Willie O'Ree? O'Ree, in case you didn't know, broke into the league in 1958 with the Boston Bruins. He only played 45 games in his career, but he was still indeed a very talented hockey player. He beat the odds not only due the fact that he was black, but also because he was 95% blind in his right eye, due to an errant puck. He was able to somehow keep that a secret from management though. He endured many racist remarks from fans while he played, most notably in Toronto and Montreal. He won two scoring titles in the WHL between 1961 and 1974, scoring thirty or more goals four times. O'Ree continued to play in the minors until age 43, and finally retired in 1979. He paved the way for current NHL players, such as Jarome Iginla, Ray Emery, and Mike Grier. I'm not saying the NHL needs to do something now, just because of what the MLB has done for Jackie Robinson, but some recognition needs to be made for what this man did.
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