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Blues announce initiatives to celebrate Black History Month

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

Black History Month is here, and the St. Louis Blues are celebrating the occasion with a variety of initiatives throughout the month of February.

Here are just some of the ways the Blues will celebrate:

- Players are wearing "Celebrating Equality" decals with an image of Willie O'Ree on their helmets throughout the month. On Jan. 18, 1958, O'Ree became the League's first Black player when he suited up for the Boston Bruins.

- A documentary about O'Ree, titled "Willie," will be televised on Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. (KTVI FOX 2) and Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. (KPLR Channel 11). The documentary will also be available to watch on Peacock for a limited time.

- Former Blue Jamal Mayers and radio play-by-play broadcaster Chris Kerber will discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in a video message to St. Louis area classrooms prior to a reading of Hockey is For Me, a children's book penned by Mayers that highlights his personal journey to the professional hockey ranks.

- The Blues announced an exciting new partnership with Cardinal Ritter College Prep, an urban Catholic high school with primarily African-American students. The program will award two students a season-long, paid internship in the Blues front office and cover their remaining tuition.

- Blues Youth Hockey social media accounts will highlight diverse families as they participate in youth hockey events throughout the St. Louis area. Families will share what hockey means to them and how they've been impacted by participating in the game.

Black History Month is celebrated as part of Hockey Is For Everyone, a year-round initiative by the NHL and NHL Players' Association that celebrates diversity and inclusion in hockey.

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