First Black Athletes to Enter Pro Leagues

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Willie O'Ree

Known as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey,” Willie O’Ree was the first Black player in the National Hockey League. O’Ree made his debut with the Boston Bruins in 1958 after concealing an eye injury that left him 95 percent blind in his right eye. It wasn’t until 1974 that the NHL saw its second Black player.

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