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Former Hockey Player Mike Grier Makes History As the NHL’s First Black General Manager. Set to Lead San Jose Sharks

By Carrington York

Mike Grier will become the first Black general manager in the National Hockey League as he takes on the role for the San Jose Sharks. 

Grier, a former player in the NHL, confirmed the history-making decision in a video posted Tuesday on the team’s Twitter account. 

Mike Grier, then a player on the Buffalo Sabres, during a game in Buffalo, New York in 2011. Photographer: Bill Wippert/NHLI/Getty Images

The historic hire comes just a few months after the US sports industry was called out for its lack of diversity, with few Black head coaches and members of upper management found throughout the major professional leagues. The outcry came to a head after Brian Flores, the former Miami Dolphins head coach, filed an explosive lawsuit earlier this year alleging racial discrimination in the National Football League. 

While corporate America has stepped up efforts to diversify management and board rooms in the wake of the nationwide racial awakening spurred by the George Floyd murder in 2020, national sports leagues have lagged behind on changes. 

Despite the lack of Black general mangers, the NHL has said that the first-ever pro hockey league was an all-Black team, established in 1895.

Grier is no stranger to the Sharks and San Jose, where he played during a three-year stint from the 2006-07 season through 2008-09. Last season, he served as a hockey operations advisor for the New York Rangers. Grier’s brother, Chris Grier, is general manager of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. 

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