Black History Month showed how far hockey has come in terms of diversity and inclusion and how much further it has to go.
The contributions of black players were chronicled aboard the National Hockey League’s American Legacy Black Hockey History bus, a mobile museum that toured eight cities as part of the league’s Black History Month celebration.
Women of color enjoyed attending games together in New York, Nashville and Brooklyn last month as part of the Black Girl Hockey Club, a sisterhood that keeps growing after each event.
Willie O’Ree continued to be showered with the accolades that he deserves as the NHL’s first black player and the godfather of a generation of minority players and fans through the league’s “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative.
O’Ree, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, was feted at the Canadian Embassy in Washington last month. There, attending members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that they’re introducing a bill to award O’Ree the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.
But February’s hockey highs shared headlines with a low when some people – let’s not call them fans – racially taunted black forward Jonathan Diaby, a 2013 Nashville Predators third-round draft pick, and his family at a semi-professional Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey game in Quebec.
Some of the spectators in the arena acted as if they had never seen a hockey player of color before, a sad reaction considering that minorities are part of the game’s past, present and future.
So I asked Color of Hockey readers to send pictures to show just how entrenched we are in the game. And, boy, you responded big time – from pee wee players to pros. Thank you all for sharing your photos, your stories, and your love of the game.
Consider this a Hockey Family Photo Album. There will be a Page 2 with more photos in the coming days. People who sent pictures without information like the names of the people in the shots, please send them again to firstname.lastname@example.org with the relevant information.
Kendall Day. left. and Dmitri Williams, Columbus Ice Hockey Club (Photo/Courtesy of Deneen Day).
Hockey is a generational thing in Trazana (Brown) Powell’s family. “So my dad, Carl Brown, 67 YEARS YOUNG. plays hockey twice a week with the Quincy Bald Eagles and a pick up league of older guys,” Powell wrote via email. “Born In Jamaica but when he got to the States he fell in love with hockey! Taught himself to skate and never stopped.”
Washington Blind Hockey Club player Tyrese Springer in action (Photo/Courtesy Washington Blind Hockey Club).
Mark Fraser, a former NHL defenseman who’s now playing for HKM Zvolen in Slovakia, sent this via Twitter:
15yrs ago I met my hero & he couldn’t have treated me better. 6yrs later I played my 1stgame against him & afterwards he went above & beyond how he treated me the 1st time we met. Congrats Iggy. You’ve inspired minority kids like me on the ice & thousands of people off the ice. pic.twitter.com/dZT4lcG5NI
— Mark Fraser (@TheRealShug_) March 2, 2019
— Evan F Moore (@evanFmoore) March 2, 2019
From a little boy in New York to a grown man living in Amsterdam, hockey has always been a part of Ted Iglesias’s life.
— Jonathan Thornton (@JThorts) March 3, 2019
Tarasai Karega, far right, with NCAA Division III hockey championship Trophy she won with Amherst College in 2009 (Photo/Courtesy Tarasai Karega).
My PeeWee and Atom boys! And a @EdmontonOilers fav George Laroque. pic.twitter.com/Xs4LYmE1K6
— Natasha Adeniken (@TiggyQueen) March 2, 2019
Meet the Lowry brothers.
Jake Lowry. “They are half African -American and half Indian. We live in Summit NJ,” their mother, Camellia, wrote. “Jake Lowry #17 played Bantam Minor AAA for NJ Titans this past season. He also played for Summit Middle School. He’s been playing travel hockey since 1st grade and is now in 8th grade (Photo/Courtesy Camellia Redmerski)”
Stay tuned for Page 2 of the Hockey Family Photo Album.
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