As part of the Capitals' Black History in Hockey theme night on Feb. 26, versus the Ottawa Senators, Civil rights leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis and NHL legend Willie O'Ree participated in a ceremonial puck drop.
Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community" in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.
O'Ree was the first black hockey player in the NHL, making his debut on Jan. 18, 1958, as a member of the Boston Bruins organization. O'Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 in the Builders category.
The evening also honored diversity and inclusion in hockey with tributes throughout the game.
In honor of Black History Month, the Capitals and Embassy of Canada also hosted the NHL's Black History in Hockey Tour, a uniquely curated mobile museum, at the Embassy from Feb. 25-Feb. 27.
The 525-square foot museum, presented by American Legacy, presented 200 years of black achievement in hockey. Exhibits featured the founders, trail blazers, history makers, and Stanley Cup champions and also look ahead to the next generation of young stars, NHL Officials, broadcasters, and women in the game.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH & HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE
The Black History Month celebration was part of Hockey Is For Everyone™, a joint NHL and NHLPA initiative celebrating diversity and inclusion in hockey. New this season, the Hockey Is For Everyone initiative has expanded from one month to year-round with NHLPA, NHL, Club and player participation. For more information, visit NHL.com/BlackHockeyHistory.