A Jacksonville Icemen hockey player has been suspended by the ECHL and cut by the team after he reportedly used a racist gesture towards a Black South Carolina Stingrays player during a Saturday game. The league on Sunday announced the indefinite suspension – pending a hearing – of Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta. Shortly thereafter, he was released by Jacksonville.
Jordan Subban, who is a forward for the Stingrays and brother of National Hockey League star P.K. Subban, said in a tweet that Panetta made “monkey gestures” towards him during the overtime period of Saturday night’s game at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida. After the gestures, Subban and Panetta fought and both received major penalties and misconduct penalties that sent them to their locker rooms. According to ESPN, Subban’s teammate Nico Blachman left the Stingrays bench to punch Panetta and was also given a game misconduct.
“The South Carolina Stingrays are disgusted and appalled by last night’s incident involving Jordan Subban,” Stingrays team president Rob Concannon said in a statement. “Our organization stands in support of our friend and teammate, Jordan, as well as all other players who continue to deal with racism and discrimination. This behavior has to stop and is unacceptable.”
A couple hours after putting out a statement that was not exactly well-received by fans, the Jacksonville Icemen put out a second statement attributed to team CEO Andy Kaufman that was also criticized for including the phrase “we apologize to anyone who was offended” and having no apology to the Stingrays or Subban. One person responded to the statement on Twitter saying, “‘we apologize to anyone who was offended’ is literally from the definition of a non apology.”
On Sunday evening, Panetta posted a video on social media in which he apologizes for his actions and explains his side of the incident:
View this post on Instagram
Both teams traveled from Jacksonville to Charleston to play again Sunday afternoon at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays were victorious, winning 6-3.
More like @JPanetta12 was too much of a coward to fight me and 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. There fixed it 👍🏾 https://t.co/JtPqpN9wwE
— Jordan Subban (@jordansubban) January 23, 2022
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