'Black Ice': How to Watch Documentary About Black Hockey Players

Ice hockey is not known for having a diverse group of players in the sport. But in the new documentary Black Ice, Black players were one of the groups who helped shape the sport into what it is today. The film was released on Friday, July 14, and fans can see it in AMC Theatres nationwide. 

Black Ice is directed by Academy Award and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Hubert Davis and "navigates the challenges, triumphs, and unique experiences faced by these athletes through poignant firsthand accounts from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) hockey players past, including Willie O'Ree, the first Black player in the National Hockey League, and former professional hockey player Akim Aliu, with the stories of present stars, including P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmonds. The film explores the deep BIPOC roots of the game, dating back to 1865 and the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL), the first all-pro league, which not only introduced the slapshot but shaped the game of hockey we know today."

Another Black hockey player featured in Black Ice is Saroya Tinker, who currently plays for the Toronto Six of the Premier Hockey Federation a professional women's hockey league in the United States and Canada. She played College Hockey at Yale University and appeared in 122 games. 

Davis said that over 400 Black Canadians and Americans played semi-professional hockey in North America from 1895-1930. But since O'Ree broke the color barrier in the NHL 60 years ago, there have been a total of 96 Black players who have appeared in an NHL game. 

"Of all the major sports in North America, the sport of professional ice hockey is the least diverse," Davis said. "The NHL has never had a black head coach and only a few blacks have reached the level of assistant coach. With increasing diversity throughout North America, the question has to be asked: Why have there not been more black professional hockey players and coaches emerge? And what does this say about our society? What does it say about who we are and how we view ourselves?"

Black Ice is produced by Vinay Virmani and Scott Moore. NBA superstar LeBron James is one of the executive producers along with hip-hop stars Drake and Future.