NHL and NHLPA celebrate Black History Month with ‘Next Generation of Hockey History’ campaign
The campaign recognizes the commitment and dedication required to break barriers and become changemakers in hockey.
United By Hockey Mobile Museum Continues 32 NHL City Tour
2024 Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend Hosted by Anaheim Ducks
NEW YORK/TORONTO (Feb. 1, 2024) –The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today announced plans for Black History Month, recognizing the commitment and dedication required to break barriers and become changemakers in hockey with a ‘Next Generation of Hockey History’ campaign.
The month will feature stories of emerging talent and diverse voices across the League’s digital and social platforms, including top prospects Tij Iginla who is projected to be drafted in the First Round in 2024, Malcolm Spence who is projected to be a top pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, as well as players EJ Emery (USA Hockey National Team Development Program), Brent Keefer (West Point), and Cayden Lindstrom (Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL).
“Hockey history is happening right now,” said Kim Davis, NHL Sr. Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. “When we assess the progress we’ve made, it is made visible by the diverse representation playing the game at the youth, junior and collegiate levels — hockey is becoming a part of the fabric of more families and communities than ever before.”
“To the players, it is important that every person get to be a part of the game of hockey. That means continuing to embrace diversity, taking positive steps toward increased accessibility, and breaking down oppressive systems and stereotypes. We are pleased to join the NHL in celebrating Black excellence as we highlight the next generation of hockey players,” said Chris Campoli, NHLPA Divisional Player Representative.
The United By Hockey Mobile Museum, which celebrates hockey’s trailblazers, changemakers and business leaders spanning various demographics, continues its seven-month tour stopping in all 32 NHL markets across North America. The 840-square foot Mobile Museum will be at the 2024 Hyundai NHL Fan Fair in Toronto, a hockey heaven for fans of all ages, part of the 2024 Rogers NHL All-Star festivities. The Mobile Museum will then visit Brampton, Ontario before continuing on to Buffalo, Boston, the 2024 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series in New Jersey, and Carolina for the month of February.
For nearly 30 years, the Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend has been bringing together boys and girls from diverse backgrounds to participate in on- and off-ice lessons designed to build confidence and teach life skills. This year, the Anaheim Ducks are hosting the youth and coaches at Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena, April 5-7, 2024. Approximately 25 boys and girls from 11 different youth hockey organizations will be traveling from across the U.S. and Canada to participate.
The Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend is named after former NHL forward Willie O’Ree, who on Jan. 18, 1958 became the first Black player to compete in the League when he stepped onto the ice for the Boston Bruins. The programing for the Willie O’Ree Skills Weekend is modeled after O’Ree who continues to champion positive social change through hockey.
Today, NHL Shop launched the Black History Month product collection featuring hoodies, as well as jerseys of active Black NHL players including K’Andre Miller, Quinton Byfield, Darnell Nurse, and many more.
Black History Month programming is part of Hockey Is For Everyone, a year-round NHL and NHLPA initiative celebrating diversity and inclusion, as well as the numerous hockey fans that represent every race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and those with disabilities. Since 1995, when ‘NHL Diversity’ was founded, the League has celebrated Black achievement in hockey with events, observances, youth hockey tournaments, and original programming.
For more details on NHL and NHLPA Black History Month initiatives, fans can visit NHL.com/Community/Black-Hockey-History. Join the conversation on social media by using the official hashtag #NHLBlackHistory.