To play in the National Hockey League, you’ve got to be tough. For Willie O’Ree, that meant hiding an injury that had left him all but blind in one eye and battling unconcealed racism and hostility from both players and fans. When O’Ree took to the ice with the Boston Bruins in 1958, he was the first player of African descent to play in hockey’s elite division. It would take almost 20 years before another would be brought in, this time by the Washington Capitals. O’Ree played for two seasons as a winger and his native country honored him with the Order of Canada in 2008 for being the first to break professional hockey’s color barrier.