Willie O’Ree’s little-known journey to break the NHL’s color barrier

first_imgAlmost everybody knows about Jackie Robinson and the historic role he played integrating Major League Baseball. But mention Willie O’Ree and you’ll likely receive a blank look.That’s a shame because 60 years ago O’Ree did his own part bringing down a racial barrier in a different sport.On Jan. 18, 1958, O’Ree – a 22-year-old forward from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada – became the first black person to play in a National Hockey League game.O’Ree had always known he possessed the talent to play in the NHL. A speedy skater with an intuitive feel for the game, he had played organized hockey since age 5 and had scored 22 goals with 12 assists in his first professional season with Quebec. His big break came when the Bruins invited him to attend training camp before the start of the 1957-58 season. Although he failed to make the final cut, team officials were impressed enough by his overall performance to tell him he needed only “a little more seasoning” to reach the big time.“They knew what I could do,” O’Ree later recalled in his 2000 memoir, “The Autobiography of Willie O’Ree: Hockey’s Black Pioneer.”Sure enough, that January, the Boston Bruins were short a roster player and called him up from their minor league club for a road contest against the Montreal Canadiens.O’Ree could barely control his excitement. “I could see fans pointing, ‘There’s that black kid. He’s up with the Bruins,’” O’Ree wrote.Despite his nervousness, he did nothing to embarrass himself during a rare 3-0 Boston shutout over their hated archrivals. “O’Ree is not only fast, but he’s a strong skater,” Montreal coach Frank Selke said after the game. “He looks as if he could go all night.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhUiG7SaCIc?wmode=transparent&start=0]‘It was the greatest thrill of my life … I’ll always remember this day.’O’Ree suited up for only one more game as a Bruin that season before returning to the minors. He was hardly crestfallen. “I’m just happy to get a chance up here, that’s about all I can say,” he told The Boston Globe.O’Ree returned to the Bruins in 1960-61 and notched four goals and 10 assists in 43 games. His first NHL goal – a game-winner against Montreal at the Boston Garden on New Year’s Day, 1961 – proved memorable. On a breakaway, a teammate fed him a perfect pass, which he deposited under the glove hand of Montreal goaltender Charlie Hodge. For his standout effort, O’Ree received a rousing standing ovation from the home crowd that lasted several minutes.O’Ree wasn’t so well received at other NHL venues. At New York City’s venerable Madison Square Garden, for instance, fans showered him with racial insults before he even stepped onto the ice. In Chicago, he was targeted for abuse for bruising Blackhawks forward Eric “Elbows” Nesterenko. After calling O’Ree the n-word, Nesterenko took the butt-end of his stick and rammed it into O’Ree’s unsuspecting face. A broken nose and two missing front teeth later, O’Ree had had enough. He took his stick and smashed Nesterenko over the head with it. O’Ree’s teammates came rushing to his aid as both teams’ benches emptied. What followed was a classic hockey donnybrook that ended with O’Ree being sent to the Bruins locker room for medical treatment.“Every time I went on the ice I was faced with racial slurs because of my color,” O’Ree admitted to the Anti-Defamation League Youth Congress gathering held in Boston in 2016. “I had black cats thrown on the ice and [people] told me to [go] back to the cotton fields and pick cotton.” O’Ree claimed he didn’t mind. “I didn’t let it hurt me,” he said. “I let it go in one ear and out the other.”Willie O’Ree, the first black player in the NHL, is honored before a game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Tampa Bay Lightning in January 2017.AP Photo/Alex GallardoO’Ree’s dream of hockey glory was almost cut tragically short. While playing in a junior league game in Guelph, Ontario, as a 20-year-old, he lost sight in most of his right eye after a deflected slap shot struck his face. Ignoring his doctor’s advice to hang up his skates, O’Ree continued to play despite being at an obvious competitive disadvantage.“I was a left shot, and I was playing left wing, but I had no right eye,” O’Ree explained. He didn’t want others to know of his handicap, lest it scare teams away from employing him. “It was my secret,” he said.The Bruins traded O’Ree to the Canadiens before the start of the 1961-62 season. O’Ree was personally devastated. Montreal was an elite team coming off a string of Stanley Cup championships and had no room for O’Ree on their roster. As a result, O’Ree spent the remainder of his career playing on a series of minor league clubs, including the Los Angeles Blades of the Western Hockey League. He was a major standout for Los Angeles, scoring a career-high 38 goals in 1964-65. But the NHL never gave him a second look.O’Ree did, however, serve as an inspiration to future NHL players of color like Jarome Iginla and Mike Greer.“I’m in awe knowing what he went through,” Iginla told USA Today in 2008. “There is a lot of trash-talking going on [in the game], and I can’t imagine what he must have gone through.”For his part, O’Ree has voiced few regrets. He did, after all, defy the odds. And he’ll forever be known as the “Jackie Robinson of hockey.”Thomas J. Whalen, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, Boston UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Boston Bruins forward Willie O’Ree warms up prior to a game against the New York Rangers in 1960.AP Photolast_img read more

Coentrao “immediately” returned to Real Madrid by Sporting

first_img IN SPORT.ES Among those that shared the post on social media were Rui Patrício, William Carvalho, Battaglia, Doumbia and Coentrao. Upd. at 15:46 Sporting Lisbon have ordered Fabio Coentrao to return to Real Madrid “immediately” as their president Bruno de Carvalho suspended another 18 players.  Coentrao será devuelto “de inmediato” al Madrid EFE The whole saga has been played out on social media and, according A Bola, Contreao has been “immediately released” and “given orders to go straight back to the Spanish capital.”  De Carvalho openly criticised the players, singling out defenders Jeremy Mathieu and Sebastian Coates for their mistakes which led to goals. center_img 07/04/2018 The fallout comes following the Portuguese side’s 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League on Thursday.  Later, the players all posted replies on social media complaining at the lack of support from the top of the club, which led to De Carvalho taking more extreme actions.  CEST De Carvalho responded on Facebook by saying: “All the players who wrote the message cited below are suspended with immediate effect and will face disciplinary procedures… These spoiled children think they’ll go far, but this time my patience has worn out for those who think they are above the club and any criticism.” Sporting are expected to field their B team when they face Alvalade this weekend.last_img read more

Spencer girls basketball falls at Gilman

first_imgRockets drop to 5-6 in Cloverbelt EastBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterGILMAN — Gilman held Spencer to 27 percent shooting and defeated the Rockets 58-39 in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division girls basketball game Friday night at Gilman High School.Gilman (5-9, 2-9 Cloverbelt East) led 31-20 at halftime and outscored Spencer by eight in the second half to win by double digits.The Rockets (7-7, 5-6 Cloverbelt East) made just 14 of 47 shots from the field and were outrebounded 40-23 in the loss.Liz Endreas scored 11 points to lead Spencer.Spencer hosts Rib Lake in a nonconference game Monday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Pirates 58, Rockets 39Spencer 20 19 – 39Gilman 31 27 – 58SPENCER (39): Liz Endreas 4-12 3-4 11, Lexi Baehr 1-11 5-6 8, Kaily Northup 3-6 0-0 7, Sabrina Vircks 2-6 0-0 4, Jessica Becker 2-3 0-1 4, Courtney Buss 1-3 0-0 3, Shaelee Neitzel 1-3 0-0 2, Mckenna Brecht 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Hall 0-1 0-0 0, Claire Drews 0-1 0-0 0, M. Burt 0-1 0-0 0. FG: 14-47. FT: 8-11. 3-pointers: 3-9 (Buss 1-2, Baehr 1-3, Northup 1-3, Burt 0-1). Rebounds: 23. Turnovers: 16. Fouls: 18. Fouled out: none. Record: 7-7, 5-6 Cloverbelt East.GILMAN (58): Kayla Chause 5-7 2-2 13, Cooper Sherfield 6-10 0-0 12, Grace Grunseth 4-8 2-6 11, Evelyn Fryza 3-7 2-3 8, Taylor Hendricks 3-10 2-3 8, Camryn Skabroud 2-5 0-0 4, Amanda Wisocky 1-1 0-0 2, Lydia Syryczuk 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Baker 01 0-0 0. FG: 24-49. FT: 8-14. 3-pointers: 2-10 (Chause 1-1, Grunseth 1-2, Fryza 0-1, Hendricks 0-3, Skabroud 0-3). Rebounds: 40 (Sherfield 15). Turnovers: 18. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: none. Record: 5-9, 2-9 Cloverbelt East.last_img read more

Are Consumers Ready For Mobile Payments? Maybe Not.

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces john paul titlowcenter_img Few topics have garnered as much hype among tech enthusiasts this year as mobile payments. And while the prospect of waving our phones to pay for everything from subway rides to groceries is exciting to some, do we have any reason to believe consumers are on board with the idea? Banks, credit card companies, mobile carriers and tech companies big and small are all clamoring to position themselves to benefit in a cashless, mobile future, but some recent reports suggest that consumers are going to need a little more time. Most consumers are not in a huge rush to pay for things using their phones, according to Consumer Reports. A recent survey by the publication found that only 5% of U.S. consumers had used their phone to make a purchase in the thirty days prior to the survey being administered. “Paying by mobile phone won’t save them money,” Consumer Reports said in a press release. “Google Wallet merchant transaction fees are the same as those charged on plastic payments, and the same is expected to be true for Visa’s digital wallet. Square and PayPal Mobile charge merchants even more than the average big bank fee, 2.75 and 2.9 percent of the transaction amount, respectively.”So if they’re not saving money why would consumers be compelled to jump onboard with mobile payments? One could argue that convenience is a factor, but at the end of the day, pulling out a wallet and swiping a card may not be seen as an overly laborious task by most consumers. Perhaps a bigger factor is the adoption of the technology. In most markets, it’s still relatively rare to encounter the option of paying for things via NFC or a comparable technology. More importantly, NFC-enabled handsets are only now making their way onto the market, and there’s still uncertainty over whether the technology will be included in the next iteration of the iPhone. There’s also the matter of consumer trust. Another survey released today indicated that most consumers trust credit card providers to handle mobile payments far more than they trust tech companies like Google and eBay. Only 12% of respondents said they would trust Facebook with handling their mobile transactions, not a shocking figure given the company’s reputation on privacy. What do you think? Are consumers ready to pay for things by waving their phones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#mobile#web last_img read more

a month agoMan Utd captain Young: Maguire already a leader

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd captain Young: Maguire already a leaderby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United captain Ashley Young says Harry Maguire is already a squad leader.Maguire was jeered by Leicester City fans throughout United’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford yesterday, but the £80million centre back responded with a fine performance to help his side to a second clean sheet of the season.”You know, I think the manager’s said about him, he talks non-stop, he’s a real leader and he can play as well,” said Young.”The style of play we use, we use the centre-halves a lot to play out from the back and everybody has got confidence in him. And everybody has confidence in Victor [Lindelof], Jonah [Phil Jones], Marcos [Rojo] – all the defenders, all the centre-backs can go in there and do the job.”Again he showed today what a man he is, and I think as a backline we played a really good game.” last_img read more

10 days agoRice appreciates influence of West Ham teammate Wilshere

first_imgRice appreciates influence of West Ham teammate Wilshereby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveDeclan Rice appreciates the influence of West Ham teammate Jack Wilshere.He admits he gets along well with the former Arsenal star.He said, “Me and Jack has been a surprise friendship. We get on so well, we’re like best friends really. I go round to his house and we go for coffee together.“He’s been hindered by injuries, if you look at his career, but his quality cannot be taken away from him. He’s a top player and even to be training with him is crazy because I grew up watching Jack Wilshere putting in performances on Match of the Day and against Lionel Messi in the Champions League in 2010, when he was only a kid. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.“Jack has been great for me as have the other senior lads in the side.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Minister Calls On Countries to Continue Education on GIS

first_imgMinister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, has called on countries to continue educating persons about Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and to share resources and experiences, so that all can benefit from its implementation and utilization. Like Our Facebook Page and Follow Us On Twitter Addressing representatives from the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Africa, at the 6th Conference of the Urban Regional Information Systems Association at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, in Montego Bay, on November 14, the Minister emphasised that there is an acute need for countries around the world to utilize GIS technology and its applications in their planning processes. “I am sure that many of us, if not all, are sold on the benefits and use of GIS and know that it will provide us with the tools to engage in the critical thinking necessary to deal with the critical times in which we live.   I put it to you that GIS and its supporting technologies can empower us as Small Island Developing States and bring us closer to each other as sister islands within the region,” Mr. Pickersgill told the over 200 delegates at the conference. Alluding to the benefits of using GIS technologies, especially when implemented and used on an enterprise/national basis, the Minister advised that small countries need to take a co-ordinated national approach, as a sectoral and/or piecemeal approach cannot yield the best returns. “Governments therefore need to have realistic long term plans with identified financial support to fund national GIS programmes.  What is also needed is a national GIS vision for our respective countries, long term objectives and goals that are constantly being fine tuned, reviewed and implemented in a progressive manner, given the availability of resources. A piecemeal or sectoral-based approach is counter productive to achieving the benefits that may be derived from a national co-ordinated approach,” the Minister argued. “We need to stop implementing GIS related projects and activities in a vacuum.  We need to share our resources, experiences and data sets and talk to each other.  The answer to achieving successful GIS programmes lies in the sharing, co-ordination and amalgamation of resources.  Governments and project executing agencies need to negotiate to have sustainable projects implemented, that will benefit organizations and by extension their countries in the long term,” Mr. Pickersgill added. He pointed out that continuous education on GIS technology has its place, as “too many professionals in GIS related fields in the region are not keeping abreast of changes in technology.” “I am therefore recommending that educational institutions within the region meet to spearhead an initiative to encourage these continuous education programmes for GIS professionals.  Indeed, our professionals in the region will soon be left behind, if we do not constantly upgrade our GIS skills sets,” the Minister said “With the changing trade agreements and the opening of borders and economies, as a region we must be prepared to forge ahead to meet the changes head on or inevitably be trampled along the way.  It is my fervent hope that the issues I have outlined will be addressed at this conference and that all participants will come away with fresh perspectives and strategies for the strengthening and sharing of geospatial information among our respective countries,” Mr. Pickersgill added. The conference was held under the theme: ‘Spatial Technologies – critical thinking for critical times’.last_img read more

The crisis is now budgets trickle of infrastructure money slower than hoped

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberals will delay billions in planned infrastructure funds until after Canadians go to the polls next year, this week’s budget shows, underlining slower-than-expected spending at a time when the government was under pressure to spend faster.The sluggish pace of federal infrastructure spending has been a persistent burr under the saddle of a government that rode to power on a promise to ramp up spending for roads, bridges, community centres, transit and water systems to stimulate the economy.Tuesday’s budget showed that more than $3.8 billion from Phase 1 of the plan — which was supposed to be spent by the end of the month — won’t be out the door until at least 2021. A further $3 billion from the upcoming phase of spending won’t be spent until at least 2025, with the majority of that taking place in 2028.And that might not be the end of it, since the budget warns of further adjustments.The Liberals said the new numbers reflect when they expect to receive expense claims from cities and provinces. The process often creates a lag between when work takes place and when federal money is spent, and that lag time can be extended by labour strife, bad weather or other issues beyond Ottawa’s control.A spokesman for Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi said the budget reflects that reality.“It is not a reflection of project activity, which is well underway on the majority of the more than 4,000 projects Minister Sohi has approved, and which the Bank of Canada has noted are contributing to the country’s economic growth,” Brook Simpson said.Conservative infrastructure critic Michael Chong said the shift in spending means continued traffic congestion in urban centres, bridges in rural Canada that won’t be repaired, and delays in renovating and building affordable housing units. He urged the Liberals to ease conditions for federal funding to help projects along.“There is no dearth of projects out there that need funding,” Chong said. “The government needs to get a better grasp of its infrastructure programs and make them more flexible to the needs of provinces and municipalities.”NDP infrastructure critic Brigitte Sansoucy said the first phase of spending has gone from “an urgent, two-year plan … into a disappointing four-year plan.”Big city mayors last month pressed the Liberals to speed up the pace of affordable housing money to help with the backlog of repairs on units, but didn’t see that happen. Brock Carlton, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, said the budget dropped the ball on the housing file.“There is a missed opportunity here to kick-start the social housing repair dollars so they’re later on in the cycle, and we needed them up early now,” Carleton said.“The problem is now. The crisis is now.”The budget did add $1.25 billion to a loan program to help finance construction of affordable rental units, adding to the $2.5 billion unveiled in budget 2016. The Liberals predict the new money will go further than the original injection: potentially 14,000 units over three years, versus the 10,000 units over five years predicted in budget 2016.The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation opened the first $625 million in loans under the program to bids last year. The head of the agency has said it was over-subscribed by a factor of five, but no funding announcements have yet been made public.The budget figures land a few weeks before the Liberals hope to sign funding agreements with provinces for $33 billion in upcoming infrastructure spending.Provinces want the Liberals to let them use the money for projects already on the books rather than do more as the federal government wishes, arguing they lack the fiscal capacity to match new federal spending.There are signs the Liberals may bend a bit in negotiations: Last month, Sohi said the federal government would cover a larger share of cost for Indigenous and small community projects, which could begin to create some fiscal wiggle room for provinces.The Liberals are aiming to sign the agreements by the end of the month — the same deadline provinces have to allocate unspent cash from a fund set up by the previous Conservative government. The budget shows that just over $1 billion from Conservative funds won’t be spent until after next year’s election, with a further $2.4 billion scheduled beyond 2023.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.last_img read more