"Hockey is for everyone; as much as we want that to be true it hasn't always been the case," Justin Bailey narrates in a video from the Vancouver Canucks looking back at the team's history of Black players.
As part of Black History Month the Canucks put the video together to celebrate Black players' role on the team throughout the years; while the team started in 1970 it wasn't until Claude Vilgrain joined the team in 1987 that they broke that barrier; he was the 14th Black player in the NHL. He was also the first Haitian-born player in the league.
Bailey goes on to note the contributions of players like Nathan Lafayette, Donald Brashear and Anson Carter.
"These players and many others helped pave the way for the future generations of black Canucks," Bailey says, counting himself as one of the players following the path created by the others.
Bailey, who's currently playing with the Abbotsford Canucks, thanks the pioneers for breaking the colour barrier, which was first done by Willie O'Ree in 1957 with the Boston Bruins.
"It's an honour to follow in their footsteps," he says.