While the U.S. Senate hasn’t agreed on much of anything for several years, this week it unanimously passed legislation granting the Congressional Gold Medal to Willie O’Ree, the first Black player to compete in the National Hockey League.
The legislation now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval so O’Ree, 85, and known as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey,” can receive this much deserved honor.
O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier in 1958 by playing as a winger for the Boston Bruins, one of six teams at the time. O’Ree, who is Canadian, played professional hockey in his home country before joining the NHL and retiring from the sport in 1979. He has spent the past two decades as the NHL’s diversity ambassador with his Hockey is for Everyone youth program.
In addition to his 2020 memoir Willie: The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player, O’Ree has also been the subject of children’s books like Willie O’Ree: The story of the first black player in the NHL by Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Willie O’Ree by Elizabeth MacLeod.
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Original article source: https://goodblacknews.org/2021/08/02/willie-oree-the-national-hockey-leagues-1st-black-player-receives-unanimous-support-from-u-s-senate-for-congressional-gold-medal/ | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council