Willie O’Ree’s little-known journey to break the NHL’s color barrier

(Credit: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

Almost everybody knows about Jackie Robinson and the historic role he played integrating Major League Baseball. But mention Willie O’Ree and you’ll likely receive a blank look.

That’s a shame because 60 years ago O’Ree did his own part bringing down a racial barrier in a different sport.

On Jan. 18, 1958, O’Ree — a 22-year-old forward from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada — became the first black person to play in a National...


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