The Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award recognizes an individual, who like Willie O'Ree, has worked to make a positive impact on his or her community, culture or society to make people better through hockey.
Tammi Lynch is a hockey mom who took action when her son’s teammate, Divyne Apollon was the victim of racial slurs. In January 2019, Tammi started a movement called Players Against Hate. Tammi designed a logo following the racial incident, crossing out the word “Racism” with a hockey stick. What started as a small, local movement to help share Divyne’s story, and express how hockey > hate, has grown into an international platform. Hockey players of all levels have shown their support by placing the logo on their gear and wearing buttons over their hearts. Fans and parents share their support by wearing shirts and sharing the word on social media. Tammi is building a safe community for those who have been victims of racial injustice by educating the public and acknowledging the problem. Since the movement has taken off, NHL players have reach out to victims personally after hearing about their stories. Tammi is proof that anyone can make a difference and help make this sport better, hockey > hate and hockey is for everyone.
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