- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 23, 2022

An incident in a minor league hockey game Saturday night has gotten the attention of the entire NHL.

Jacob Panetta, a defenseman for the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen, is being accused of a racist taunt toward South Carolina Stingrays blueliner Jordan Subban, who is Black.

“As soon as I began to turn my back, he started making monkey gestures at me, so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is,” Subban tweeted.

Panetta, who is White, was suspended indefinitely by the ECHL Sunday and later released by the Icemen.

“Incidents of racism, whether they occur in hockey or anywhere else, are abhorrent,” reads a statement on the NHL’s public relations Twitter account. “The NHL will continue to make its resources available to the hockey ecosystem to educate and inform, with the goal of making the game welcoming and safe for all players and fans.”

Subban is the younger brother of New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, and the Stingrays are the Washington Capitals’ ECHL affiliate.

“The Washington Capitals stand in support of Jordan Subban and our ECHL affiliate @SCStingrays after a racist gesture was made against him at Jacksonville on Jan. 22,” the Capitals tweeted. “We must continue to eradicate this type of disgusting behavior from our game and society.” 

The incident is the second of its kind in the minor leagues this month. On Jan. 12, San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik made a racist gesture at Tucson Roadrunners forward Boko Imama, who is Black. Hrabik, who is White, was later suspended by the American Hockey League for 30 games.

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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