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Latest Paul Jacobs News
Dec 7, 2022
Hockey’s history reveals its non-white pioneers AP Taffy Abel carried the US flag at the 1924 Olympics, where his team won silver in ice hockey. Henry Elmer “Buddy” Maracle played 11 games in the early-1930s NHL. Paul Jacobs might have played in the league’s second season in 1918-19. However, in the commonly known history of hockey, a predominantly white sport in North America and Europe, these three men and others have been late to receive credit as indigenous pioneers. Now, as part of a worldwide reckoning with prejudice, hockey historians are delving deeper into the role of some of the first non-white professional hockey players. Historians agree that there were indigenous players on the ice well before Willie O’Ree became the first black player to skate in an NHL game in January 1958. O’Ree, who endured years of racism, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018 and had his No. 22 retired this year. Former Chicago Blackhawks player Fred Sasakamoose is honored in Edmonton, Alberta, on Dec. 29, 2017. Photo: AP There are no detailed demographical records from the NHL’s earliest years, the league and historians say. Because of that — and because some players hid or downplayed their indigenous or Asian heritage to avoid racist treatment — defining the sport’s trailblazers and who broke the so-called color barrier in the NHL is difficult at best and likely impossible to prove. “It’s really hard to identify who was the first because if you go back into everyone’s certain ancestry, a lot of people will have indigenous or other minority groups in them, so it’s hard to pinpoint,” hockey historian and author Ty Di Lello said. “There might be the first publicly known, but it’s probably near impossible just because so many people that had indigenous or other minority backgrounds maybe didn’t look like it.” Larry Kwong became the first player of Asian descent to appear in an NHL game — in 1948, a decade before O’Ree. Di Lello and others wonder if there were Asian Americans or fellow Asian Canadians before Kwong, the son of two Chinese parents who was born in British Columbia. “Willie O’Ree couldn’t hide it,” historian Eric Zweig said. “There’s no stories of any black players passing as white before Willie O’Ree.” Fred Sasakamoose, who played 11 games in the mid-1950s, has long been recognized as the NHL’s first indigenous Canadian player and became well-known in the First Nations community. However, historians and the Hall of Fame would give that distinction to Mohawk player Paul Jacobs — if he played in a game during the 1918-19 season, as might be the case. Historical records are unclear and experts disagree on whether Paul Jacobs ever actually touched the ice. He was on the Toronto Arenas roster and, as the Hall of Fame says, could have played in up to five games, which would make him the first non-white player in the NHL, which was formed in November 1917. George Jones does not believe Jacobs played in a game and is adamant that Abel, his late uncle, deserves credit for breaking the league’s color barrier in 1926. Jones has ramped up his effort to bring attention to Abel, a big defenseman who “passed” as white during his career before revealing his Native American heritage upon the death of his mother in 1939, five years after retiring. “The reason he had to pass was not one of choice — it was one of survival,” Jones said. “I’m proud of him, what he did — very proud. I know what he had to go through and the internal torment that he had to go through as part of this ‘passing’ thing. He had depression, he had drinking problems, but he survived.” The NHL in a post on Twitter heralded Abel as “one of the first known Native American players.” Jones, who has taken his argument to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and other league officials, said that is not enough. He wants acknowledgment from the NHL that Abel broke the league’s color barrier as its first non-white player. “Native American Taffy Abel was the first professional hockey player to break the NHL color barrier in 1926,” he wrote in an e-mail. League executives and researchers say they have looked into cases like Abel’s and Maracle’s and are not comfortable declaring a “first” among indigenous players because there is no way of proving it. Most NHL publications refer to O’Ree as the first black player and Sasakamoose as the first indigenous or First Nations player with treaty status. It was more than a decade before Mike Marson became the NHL’s second black player. More than 95 percent of current NHL players are white. Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.
Paul Jacobs Investments
Paul Jacobs has made 6 investments. Their latest investment was in CourseKey as part of their Series A on August 8, 2019.
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