NHL Black History Truck Tour Spotlights Diversity In Hockey

NHL Black History Truck Tour
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Photo: NHL

Rodney J. Reynolds knows what it's like to see a kid fall in love with the sport of hockey.

He lived it with his son, Joshua, who started playing the sport at age 8 and worked his way into becoming a goalie on his high school team. Young Joshua started skating when Rodney lived in the Cleveland area and kept doing it when the family moved just north of New York City, joining a hockey club that started just after the family moved.

"I was a hockey dad," Rodney said Monday as he sat inside the NHL's Black Hockey History Truck Tour, which has stopped in Columbus and will be available for tours Tuesday ahead of the Blue Jackets' game vs. Chicago.

"My son is 32 now, but he started playing hockey when he was 8 and he played for 10 years all the way through high school. He was a goalie, so being a goalie at 8 years old, he couldn't put on his own pads. I had to put on his pads. The most exciting time for me was when he got to the age he could put on his own goalie pads."

It's a typical story in the sport of hockey -- early mornings at the rink, long drives for ice time, and a family bonding over the sport. And while Rodney and Joshua spent all that time enjoying the game together, it would eventually lead to Reynolds' current role partnering the Black history brand American Legacy Network he founded as well as its mobile arm, ALXMOBILE, with the NHL for the creation of the tour.

What started as a seven-city trip three seasons ago will bring the educational exhibit that recognizes the historic impact of diversity in sport to 28 different NHL markets this year. The NHL Black Hockey History Tour aims to raise awareness of the League's history of pioneering Black hockey players as well as its current Black stars with a variety of interactive features. Read more.

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