“By creating these special skates in honor Willie O’Ree Bauer Hockey powerfully represents the inclusive values that make our game and our world better, ”said Kim Davis, NHL Senior Executive Vice President Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legal Affairs. “We are proud to have partnered with Bauer on this project, which contributes to the celebration of a month-long Black History while demonstrating our belief that inclusion is a year-round sport by using the skates to raise money for continued diversity and inclusion at grassroots efforts in hockey. “
A limited number of the historic O’Ree BAUER skates were built and assembled at the BAUER Innovation Center in Blainville QCThe image is designed and inspired by Terry Smith from Terry Smith Creations, professional hockey players Wayne Simmonds and JT Brown, and Eustace King, an NHLPA Agent and Managing Partner of O2K Sports Management. Smith, who also designed the San Jose Sharks logo, was the lead designer on the O’Ree BAUER skate. With Willie’s No. 22 anchored on the heel of the boot, BAUER honors the Hall of Famer with its image and the date of its first competition on the one hand and with words like respect, equality, BLM and diversity on the other.
“I’m thinking about Willie O’Ree like an astronaut, ”she said Wayne Simmonds of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “He was a pioneer as a player and off the ice his role as an ambassador continues to welcome new players and families to our game. bear. on the ice. “
O’Ree, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018, continued to make history January 18, 1958when he pitched his skates for the Boston Bruins in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. He recognizes this historic milestone and Willie’s contributions to the game, including serving as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, a role in which he has introduced more than 130,000 boys and girls from underrepresented backgrounds to the sport of hockey. Bauer Hockey will debut this skate during Black History Month. Several NHL players celebrate Willie by wearing the skate on the ice.
“It is such an honor for the BAUER team to play a role in highlighting this historic milestone and raising the voices of our athletes. It is a recognition of the barriers. Willie O’Ree broke up in 1958, as well as his life as one of the best ambassadors our game has ever seen, ”said Ed Kinnaly, CEO of Peak Achievement Athletics, owner of Bauer Hockey“On and off the ice, Willie’s contributions have helped grow our game and make it even more inclusive and welcoming to everyone.”
In-game skates are auctioned through the NHL’s auction program, and BAUER has created O’Ree skate t-shirts available on BAUER.com. All proceeds benefit the Black Girl Hockey Club (BGHC), a non-profit organization dedicated to uniting black women in the hockey community and making hockey even more hospitable.
“The Black Girl Hockey Club is proud to be the recipient of this very generous donation from Bauer and Mr. O’Ree, which will enable us to continue our work in building a space for black women in hockey through programs such as our scholarship fund and community learning events, ”said Renee Hess, Executive Director Black Girl Hockey Club.Willie O’Ree continues to inspire generations of hockey fans with his tenacity and love for the game, and BGHC is pleased to uphold its legacy with our work. “
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