Breaking Racial Barriers in the National Hockey League National Historic Event

Toronto, Ontario
Willie O'Ree © Hockey Hall of Fame. All right Reserved. | Hockey Hall of Fame. Tous droits réservés.
Willie O'Ree
© Hockey Hall of Fame. All right Reserved. | Hockey Hall of Fame. Tous droits réservés.
Fred Sasakamoose © Hockey Hall of Fame. All right Reserved. | Hockey Hall of Fame. Tous droits réservés.Larry Kwong, date unknown © Hockey Hall of Fame. All right Reserved. | Hockey Hall of Fame. Tous droits réservés.Henry Maracle © Hockey Hall of Fame. All right Reserved. | Hockey Hall of Fame. Tous droits réservés.Willie O'Ree © Hockey Hall of Fame. All right Reserved. | Hockey Hall of Fame. Tous droits réservés.Paul Jacobs, 1912 © F.W. Waugh / Library and Archives Canada / R.F. Waugh collection / e011310538-020_s1 | F.W. Waugh / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada / collection R.F. Waugh / e011310538-020_s1
Address : Toronto, Ontario

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 2022-01-11
Dates:
  • 1931 to 1958 (Significant)

Other Name(s):
  • Breaking Racial Barriers in the National Hockey League  (Designation Name)

Importance: Hockey players overcoming racial barriers in professional hockey

Plaque(s)


Approved Inscription:  

Since the establishment of the National Hockey League in 1917, non-white athletes faced racial barriers, preventing them from playing in the league. In the early decades of the NHL, men such as Paul Jacobs, Henry “Elmer” Maracle, Larry Kwong, Fred Sasakamoose, and Willie O’Ree confronted widespread racism and prejudice on and off the ice. These players broke through racial barriers at each stage of their careers, ultimately reaching hockey’s premier league. Representing greater diversity and inclusion in professional hockey, these trailblazers were recognized for both their skill and perseverance, inspiring future generations of players.