Mike Grier becomes NHL's first black GM The 47-year-old hockey veteran was just named the general manager of the San Jose Sharks. Grier comes from a line of sports executives, with both his father and brother working in the NFL.

Mike Grier becomes the first Black general manager in NHL history

Mike Grier is introduced as the new general manager of the San Jose Sharks at a news conference in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

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Jeff Chiu/AP

Mike Grier has been named the general manager of the San Jose Sharks, making him the first Black GM in National Hockey League history.

"I am extremely proud and grateful to be given the opportunity to be the general manager of the San Jose Sharks," the 47-year-old hockey veteran said in a statement. "Along with my staff, I look forward to the challenge of building a fast, competitive, and hardworking team that Sharks fans will enjoy watching and be proud of."

Grier has been an NHL hockey player, scout, coach and executive. He spent 14 seasons in the league as a top defensive forwards and leader. Prior to the Sharks GM position, he was the New York Rangers' hockey operations adviser.

In 1996, he became the first African American born and trained in the U.S. to play in the NHL, according to NHL.com. The NHL didn't track advanced statistics until the 2005-06 season, but Grier ranks 10th among all NHL forwards in blocked shots (315) and 33rd in hits (705).

Grier isn't the first general manager in his family, and comes from a line of sports executives. His father, Bobby, serves as a consultant with the Miami Dolphins and is a long-time executive in the National Football League. Grier's brother, Chris, has been the Dolphins' GM since 2016, and previously worked in scouting with the New England Patriots.

"Mike's successful career on the ice speaks for itself, but what impressed me the most were his leadership qualities and his overwhelming desire to win," Sharks owner Hasso Plattner said.