The hockey world was once again shaken by a racist gesture on Saturday, the day after an exemplary suspension imposed by the American Hockey League. This time, the incident happened in L’ECHL and Jordan Subban was the victim.
• Read also: Jordan Subban targeted by a racist gesture
It’s Jacob Panetta who finds himself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. In overtime, the Jacksonville Icemen player mimed a monkey after an altercation. PK Subban’s brother was quick to pounce on Panetta to land a few blows.
Panetta was expelled from the game with no less than 27 penalty minutes. On Sunday, the circuit suspended him indefinitely. He will have to explain his actions before a decision on his fate is made, but the Icemen did not wait: they released the player in the afternoon.
“To be clear, our core values within the Owner Group include Love and Zero Tolerance for Racism, On behalf of the Icemen we apologize to anyone who has been offended and look to the healing process together,” responded the organization in a statement.
This is not the first racist demonstration in hockey, far from it. Just Friday, Krystof Hrabik, of the San Jose Barracuda in the American League, was suspended for 30 games following a gesture against Quebec forward Bokondji Imama. This exemplary sanction does not seem to have had the desired effect, at least with Panetta.
Jordan Subban himself has already been the target of a deplorable gesture when he played in Austria in the past. Thus, it is no longer a question of finding excuses or talking about mistakes, according to PK Subban. The latter also believes that Panetta is now branded with a hot iron, even if he fears a too light suspension.
“We don’t call the ECHL the jungle because my brother and other black players are monkeys! the former Montreal Canadiens protested on Twitter. Hey [Jacob Panetta], you shouldn’t be so quick to delete your Twitter and Instagram accounts. You’ll probably be able to play again… That’s what the story says, but things change.”
“Now it’s not just the hockey world that knows your true colors. Your hometown of Belleville knows it, your family and friends know you’re an impostor.”
Never drafted, Panetta is in a second season as a professional after having evolved