A decade after retiring from the NHL following 14 great seasons on the ice, Black hockey hero Mike Grier is making monumental moves once again as the first African American GM in the National Hockey League’s history.
Announced earlier today during a full press event with family in tow (seen above), Grier confirmed that he’ll be joining his former home with the San Jose Sharks as the California hockey franchise’s new General Manager. “Really excited to get to work and be back in the Bay Area,” the former right wing announced directly to Sharks fans via Instagram, also adding, “I know there’s been lots of ups and downs, but I’m ready to work hard and get at it and get this thing back on the tracks. We’re going to start winning some games in the Shark Tank and get it going again. See you soon!”
More on this epic Black first below, via ESPN:
“‘It’s something I’m extremely proud of,’ Grier said of being the league’s first Black GM. ‘I realized there was a responsibility that comes with the territory but I’m up for it [with] how I carry myself and how the organization carries themselves. … For me, my job is to do the best I can for the San Jose Sharks organization, and if I do that, hopefully it opens the door to give other opportunities to other minorities to get in front-office positions and maybe lead a team down the road as well.’
It was Grier’s ability to do just that which drew San Jose’s interest — a point team president Jonathan Becher wanted to make clear while also celebrating an historic achievement.
‘We hired the best general manager available,’ Becher said. ‘Mike just happens to be Black. The focus was on finding the best candidate for the job.'”
It’s worth noting that Grier already made Black history during his time playing as the first African-American player in NHL history to exclusively train in the U.S. He joins the GM ranks with his brother, Chris Grier, who’s been General Manager for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins since 2016.
Congratulations again, Mike Grier! Peep a few celebratory messages from his old teammates below:
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