Willie O’Ree

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Virtual
  • 2021  –  China
  • 2021  –  Russia

Willie O’Ree is a  Canadian  former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first black player in the National Hockey League. O’Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins. O’Ree is referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of ice hockey” for breaking the black color barrier in the sport. O’Ree played much of his professional career in the United States and settled in San Diego following his retirement.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018. Since 1997, O’Ree has been the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, traveling across North America to schools and hockey programs to promote messages of inclusion, dedication, and confidence.