Eye To Eye: WIllie O’Ree (CBS News)

Byron Pitts speaks with Willie O’Ree, a Canadian-born hockey maverick who became the NHL’s first black player when we was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 1958. (CBSNews.com)


28 Replies to “Eye To Eye: WIllie O’Ree (CBS News)”


  2. Soooooooooo TRUE!!!!

    And its crazy how the sports that were started by each race have swopped.
    Basketball is predominantly BLACK, Hockey is predominantly WHITE.

  3. O'Ree played only briefly for the Bruins. I think of him more as a San Diego Gull where he was one of that team's most popular players. Thanks for the memories, Willie.

  4. @DKfan87 Great points! I’m from Congo (where Ali fought Foreman) and when our family moved to Boston in the 1970's, the first sport I first learned to play and fell in love with was ice hockey. I still remember skating at Buckingham Brown & Nichols. Much love and respect for Willie O'Ree and the Boston Bruins organization…

  5. My parents took us kids to watch the San Diego Gulls play for years and of all the players I've ever watched and known Willie O'Ree was and still is my all time favorite! And Willie I admire you for your talent and all you've done over the years. I could care less what 'cha look like. Oh possibly I should mention I'm a white female in my mid 50's 🙂

  6. @alwaysbamboozled. Not true. Hockey is more popular in Boston because the fans are very passionate about it. And most of my friends that played on my team were not white. And they were very talented. I could've made to the NHL if I wasn't so fucking short. It takes more talent to play hockey than any other sport, so quit being a jerk about a sport that I grew up loving and still love to this day.

  7. @pat442389 "Black African Canadien" that is not a term Blacks in Canada use to describe themselves…. most are from the West Indies.

  8. I'm a big hockey fan, and I am proud of Mr. O'Ree to have gone through everything he did, and come out of it still an intact person. Many people don't and never will know what that feels like.

  9. In the States hockey is the fourth sport, and black young men and women don't see much point in traveling miles to get to an ice rink where organized hockey is played or even just to skate around when other sports, whose entry fees are far cheaper, are more available, familiar and fashionable. Programs that provide opportunity are the key, not to mention impressing upon the youth that the chances to play hockey professionally are better than in the other more popular sports.

  10. @homamonsef12 Democracy is what you obviously do not have. The ability to vote and for citizens to have some form of impact on their government. Please sir get your facts straight before you attempt to denounce the greatest country in this century.

  11. CHL aka Colored Hockey League the book called Black Ice and the rules were dictated by the Holy Bible!!! NHL do the right thing and give credit were credit is due, well overdue!!!

  12. He might be the 1st black man in the NHL but Black men have been playing hockey 50 years prior to the NHL, the NHL knows this yet continues not to honor to originators of this sport! White people and other races have no problem acknowledging that basketball was started by Dr. James Naismith a white man! But, to say that Black men in Nova Scotia started hockey alarms & causes white people to go crazy with rage & denial!!!

  13. What a classy athlete!

    Hockey isn't any more of a racist sport than basketball. If the hood had more hockey rinks than basketball courts, there'd be more black hockey players.

  14. The two early influences on me related to ice hockey were black. Someone either has game or they don't. The best way to fight back is on the scoreboard, but an ass-kicking doesn't hurt.

  15. RACIALLY, neither of these men are BLACK.

    I've studied physical anthropology, and these men are morphologically more Asiatic and Europoid than sub-saharan African. The actual African genes are not heavily expressed in any of the people in these "african history month" videos.

    Something to ponder about..

  16. when americans watch this we think how can african americans get into hockey but we forget that most likely a black african canadien will be the real spark plug for getting kids into hockey. Baseball is having a huge problem getting black youths to sign up. since Ken Griffey Jr retired its hard 2 name 10 black MLB stars compared to the early 90s but u can easily name 20 latino players. wayne simmonds will get at least 1 black kid from philly on the ice, work from there

  17. Hockey is probably the most racist sport to this day, french players have fought for years to gain respect and now are some of the most dominant players, Willie o'ree needs more exposure to get more black kids on the ice, this would only increase the talent pool and make for an even more exiting game. PEace

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