DENVER — Imagine a traveling museum that shows 200 years of Black history in a professional sport.
Inside the NHL Black History Tour truck, knowledge of the league’s past many people may not even know exists is endless.
"The establishment of the colored hockey league in 1895 which was founded 20-plus years before the NHL," said Rodney Reynolds, the mobile museum’s curator. “People just didn’t know that black people were actually playing hockey in the 1800’s in Nova Scotia.”
By season’s end, Reynolds will have traveled to 28 of the 32 NHL cities to tell the untold stories of black NHL players, while showing off historic memorabilia.
Every museumgoer has the same reaction, "They say ‘Wow’ and they feel inspired," Reynolds said.
Terrence Taylor is a big hockey fan. He says going through the museum made him understand the league’s history even more.
"I was told this growing up that hockey is a white game. 'You’re not supposed to play hockey,' but then you see stuff like this [pointing to the tour truck] and you realize that’s not true," Taylor said. "It’s a game for everybody. I couldn’t imagine someone like Willie O’Ree and what he had to go through."
People of all ages came to check out one of the coolest ways to showcase the league’s Black history.
"It’s extremely important to preserve history so that those coming behind can know who’s shoulders they actually stand on," Reynolds said.
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