The Jackie Robinson Of Hockey
Willie O'Ree broke the color barrier in the NHL. Hear his incredible story
In a grand way to close out Black History Month, we present, courtesy of our friends at Iona College, an in-depth interview with Willie O'Ree, who was known as the "Jackie Robinson of the NHL". He became the league's first African-American player when he debuted with the Boston Bruins in 1958. In this two-part interview with longtime sports broadcast journalist Mike Damergis and Iona's Andrew Alers, O'Ree opens up for an enthralling retrospective.
O'Ree actually met Jackie Robinson twice, and shares the details of those encounters. He also reveals another challenge that threatened to derail his career, yet he somehow managed to keep it a secret. O'Ree talks about how he dealt with racial issues in his day, and how he tells players to deal with any situations they may face nowadays. His stories are not to be missed, as he is definitely a unique trailblazer and an eternal figure to always be revered.
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