Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY

Friday, 28 February 2014

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " WILLIAM ELDON "WILLIE " O'REE " IS CONSIDERED TO BE A PIONEER OR "THE JACKIE ROBINSON " OF HOCKEY FOR BEING THE FIRST BLACK PLAYER IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
BLACK                SOCIAL               HISTORY



William Eldon "Willie" O'Ree is considered to be a pioneer, or "The Jackie Robinson of hockey", for being the first black player in the National Hockey League, but if you asked O'Ree, he didn't think being a pioneer was a big deal and he would rather you think and accept him as another hockey player.

Born in Fredericton, New Bruinswick, O'Ree learned to skate when he was three. He loved to skate any chance he could then he started to play organized hockey when he was five.

As he grew older, O'Ree played in more competitive hockey leagues and would play for the Kitchner Canucks of the Ontario Hockey Association in the 1955-56 season and would sign with the Quebec Aces, in the 1956-57 season, which would be the start of a three decade (mostly minor) professional career.

ORree managed to get noticed by the Boston Bruins and was called up by the Bruins on January 18, 1958 against the Montreal Canadiens. That season, he played only two games for the Bruins and was sent back to the minors.

O'Ree got a second opportunity with the Bruins in the 1960-61 season, playing in 43 games, scoring four goals, ten assists, for fourteen points.

While playing in the National Hockey League, O'Ree paid a price for being there; Racism. Although the fans in Boston were friendly, He received racial taunts and slurs from fans while on the road. Oppsing players as well would do the same thing; In addition, he received many cheap shots and got into fights to defend himself.

Sadly, after that season, his National Hockey Leeague career came to an end, as he never played in another National Hockey game again. From there, he played in the minor professional leagues. First with the Ottawa-Hull Canadiens of the Eastern Proffessional hockey League, then became a mainstay in the Western (Professional) Hockey League, with the Los Angeles Blades and the San Diego Gulls. His last stop was with the San Diego Hawks of the PHL, in the 1978-79 season.

After O'Ree's playing career was over, in 1998, he became the Director of Youth Development for the NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Task Force, a non-profit program for minority youth that encourages them to learn and play hockey.

Awards and honors later followed. He was inducted into the New Bruinswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1984. He received the Lester Patrick Award, which annually awards an individual for hockey service in the United States, in 2000; he received the Order of New Bruinswick in 2005 and was honored with the naming of Willie O'Ree Place, or Place Willie O'Ree in French, at the Fredericton Arena in 2008.