The Washington Capitals kick off Black History Night on February 28 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Capitals will wear special jerseys during warm-ups that feature a gold patch in honor of the Fort Dupont Cannons – the oldest minority hockey program in the country in North America.
The shirts will be signed and then auctioned on Handbid. Other auction items available in the Black History Night Auction include Black History Month signed pucks, dog calendars, and gear used in the game.
The money raised from the auction will benefit the Capital Impact Fund. The Capital Impact Fund was created in 2020 by Capitals and the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation to provide grants to organizations that can help remove cost barriers faced by individuals of color in the hockey community.
The Capitals will also wear a badge honoring coach Neil Henderson, a member of the USA Hockey Hall of Fame, who founded the Cannons. Former Capital Bill Riley, the third black player to play in the NHL, will participate in the ceremonial puck drop party alongside his granddaughter Krishanda Green, the first black captain of the Ryerson Rams University women’s hockey team.
Capitals to celebrate Black History Night presented by Capital One on Monday, February 28
Capitals graduate Bill Riley and granddaughter of Krishanda Green, former and first black captain of the Ryerson Rams, to participate in the Puck Drop party
Black History Month auction of special warm-up shirts with Fort Dupont Cannons Patch is now open
Arlington, Virginia – The Washington Capitals will celebrate Capital One’s Black History Night on Monday, February 28th when the team hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena at 7pm. Capitals are working to further develop the game in the region. In addition, several items will honor the Washington, DC-based Fort Dupont Cannons program, the oldest minority hockey program in North America. Highlights include:
Festive puck drop: Capitals graduate Bill Riley and his granddaughter Kryshanda Green will participate in a festive puck drop party.
Riley made his National Hockey League debut with the DC team in 1974, becoming the first black Nova Scotia player to play in the NHL and the third black player to play in the league. In 125 games with the Capitals, Riley scored 28 goals and 28 assists.
Greene is the former and first captain of the Ryerson Rams University women’s hockey team. While at Ryerson, Green broke all points and assisted records. She graduated from Ryerson with a BA in Politics and Governance and currently serves on the NHL’s Youth Hockey Inclusion Board.
Special warm-up jersey fundraising: During the warm-up, Capitals players will wear special black warm-up jerseys with the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club shoulder patch in honor of the Fort Dupont Cannons. The T-shirts will be signed and auctioned along with signed pucks in celebration of Black History Month and other items for the Impact Capital Fund. Hosted by the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, the fundraiser is now open at WashCaps.com/BHM-Auction and ends March 2 at 3 PM EST.
The Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club—also known as the Cannons—is part of the National Hockey League’s All-In-One Hockey Program and is the oldest minority hockey program in North America. The Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, founded in 1978 by coach Neil Henderson, is a development program that provides local and inner-city youth the opportunity to participate in a structured ice hockey program. Defenders play outside of Fort Dupont Ice Arena located in the southeast of the capital
To date, the main Cannons rink has been the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, the only full-size indoor ice rink in Washington, D.C. The facility is due to close in February and construction on a new rink to begin, the capitals honors the Fort Dupont Ice Arena and Cannons throughout February.
In 2020, Capitals and the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation created the Capital Impact Fund to provide grants to organizations that can help remove cost barriers faced by individuals of color in the hockey community. The Washington Capitals Fund and MSE Foundation Capital Impact Fund Grant will provide financial support to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to continuing to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the game of hockey.
Neil Henderson helmet decal: During the game, players will wear special helmet badges featuring Henderson’s likeness in honor of his contributions to the game of hockey. In 2019, Henderson became the first black individual to be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
View the history of black hockey: Fans are encouraged to visit the Capitals Black Hockey History Display, which was revealed in February. The permanent display is located in Section 116 in the main lobby and features:
– Memorabilia including the 1975-1976 home jersey worn by Mike Marson (1974-1979), a bat used in the game by Joel Ward (2011-15) and a helmet worn by Devante Smith Bailey (2017-19).
Protective shirt featuring “Players Against Hate” shoulder patch. The Capitals players wore their jerseys and auctioned them off during Black History Night on February 25, 2021.
– A timeline featuring black players and key moments in the history of the capitals.
– An interactive QR code that drives visitors to washcaps.com/blackhockey, featuring additional information to learn about the capitals’ commitment to diversity, honoring black players in history, community partners, resources, and more.
In-game items: Black History Night will also honor diversity and inclusion with many acclaims and guests throughout the game.
Visit the Capitals Black Hockey microsite for information on capital and league-specific initiatives. The site also highlights black athletes who have played with the organization, including detailed biographies of the players. In addition to highlighting specific programs and diversity initiatives, the site contains information about youth programs throughout the region and links to reference materials on black hockey.