As the Boston Bruins honoured Willie O'Ree on Tuesday night, people and organizations around the sports world joined in to congratulate the man who broke the NHL's colour barrier.
O'Ree's No. 22 was retired in a pre-game ceremony at TD Garden, exactly 60 years after his first game with the Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens.
Other NHL teams spotlighted the No. 22.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 18, 2022
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 19, 2022
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) January 18, 2022
A legend on the ice. A pioneer off the ice.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 18, 2022
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 19, 2022
Congratulations to Willie O'Ree, who will have his number retired in Boston tonight.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 19, 2022
Tributes to Willie O’Ree leaguewide. O’Ree having his No. 22 retired by the Bruins tonight, 64 years to the day he became the NHL’s first Black player. pic.twitter.com/tPcUl8IYMn
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) January 19, 2022
64 years ago today, Willie O’Ree changed the game of hockey forever when he became the first black player in NHL history.
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 19, 2022
The NHL community, the city of Boston and the Bruins' New England sports cousins also delivered messages to O'Ree.
Congratulations, Willie O’Ree. This was a long time coming. You changed the game and your continued work has bettered the sport. Your number up in the rafters is a reminder to dream big. #Willie22 pic.twitter.com/yFbNzua8mO
— JT Brown (@JTBrown23) January 18, 2022
Thank you Willie for everything you have done and continue to do for hockey in Boston and across the world. [2/2]
— Shawn Thornton FDN (@ThorntonFDN) January 19, 2022
Tonight my idol Willie O’Ree’s number 22 will be hung from the rafters (Finally). I can’t stress how much Mr O’Ree has meant to me and millions of other BIPOC kids who love the game of hockey… Congratulations MR O’Ree
— Wayne Simmonds (@Simmonds17) January 18, 2022
From January 18, 1958 to today, the Players thank Willie O’Ree for his contributions to the game and for continuing to inspire the generations of hockey players who have followed his lead.
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) January 18, 2022
— Anthony Stewart (@StuMunrue) January 18, 2022
Tonight Fenway Park goes gold for Willie O’Ree who, on this date in 1958, made history with the @NHLBruins and became the first Black player in the NHL.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) January 18, 2022
Gillette Stadium is lit up in gold tonight to honor @NHLBruins legend, Willie O’Ree.
On this day in 1958, O’Ree made history as the first Black player in the @nhl.
— Gillette Stadium (@GilletteStadium) January 18, 2022
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 18, 2022
— Mayor Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@MayorWu) January 18, 2022