Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith issued a statement late Tuesday night after a Michigan State hockey player claimed a Buckeyes player racially abused him multiple times during a game earlier this month.
Spartans player Jagger Joshua, who is black, shared his experience on social media from the Nov. 11 home game in which the Spartans beat the Buckeyes 4-3.
Joshua said an in-game official heard what the opposing player said and gave him a game-misconduct penalty. The box score for the day shows that Ohio State’s senior forward, Kamil Sadlocha, was the only player accused of misconduct.
After reviewing the situation, Smith issued a public apology on behalf of Ohio State and announced that Sadlocha is not currently on the team.
“I want to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua. On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry,” Smith wrote. “No student or student-athlete should experience hate or racism, and everyone should feel welcome. I’ve spoken to Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller and I’m grateful that Jagger is getting the support he needs.
“For the past week the athletics department has been processing this incident on the ice and speaking to Kamil Sadlocha and the rest of the team and Kamil is returning home and will not be training or competing at this time.
“I met with the men’s ice hockey team and will meet again soon to discuss our values. The team will undergo training on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialogue. The department and I will support you through this important process.”
Gathering and evaluating information from the conference officiating crew, both schools and video footage, the Big Ten supported the penalty in the game against the Buckeyes but decided against further punishment.
“Due to the lack of undeniable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not taken any further disciplinary action,” the Big Ten said in a statement.
Joshua said he was motivated to share his version of events publicly as racism in sport would only get worse if it wasn’t recognised.
“Acts of racism do not belong in hockey as they can prevent African Americans and minorities like me from playing and loving the game,” Joshua wrote in his post. “Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions perpetuates these behaviors.
“The inaction has left me confused and pessimistic about the diversity movement in hockey culture.”
Prior to Smith’s testimony, Ohio State said its athletic department and hockey program had been working with the Big Ten to reach a resolution.
“Ohio State is focused on providing an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone,” the school said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/35088684/ohio-st-apologizes-michigan-st-hockey-player-racial-slur Ohio St. apologizes to Michigan St. hockey player after racial slur