Saturday night, the Florida Panthers played their final game during Black History Month while honoring the pioneers of the sport as well as a South Floridian who was wounded while serving his country.
Willie Brinson, a Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, was honored before the game to a standing ovation from the crowd inside the BB&T Center while a video was played during the second period where Brinson shared why it was important for him to join the military.
Brinson enlisted in the Army in 1964 and served for three years, spending 10 months of his tour in Pleiku where he was shot in the leg.
The Panthers honor a military hero during each home game as part of their Heroes Among Us program.
Florida celebrated Black History Night with various events on and off the ice, including forward Anthony Duclair wearing skates that honored Willie O'Ree, the first Black man to play in the National Hockey League.
The Panthers hosted a roundtable discussion via Zoom called 'Breaking Barriers' with Assistant General Manager Brett Peterson, team alumni and Hockey Director at Panthers IceDen Peter Worrell and moderated by Soul on Ice Director Kwame Mason.
Florida also honored Brenda Morrison, the President of the Young Professionals Network at Urban League of Broward, as the Territory Teammate for "going above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic."