The ECHL suspended Jacob Panetta on Sunday after Jordan Subban, the brother of NHL star PK Subban, accused the Jacksonville defenseman of making “monkey gestures” in his direction.
The league said the indefinite suspension is pending a hearing under its collective bargaining agreement with its players. Jacksonville then announced they had to decided to cut Panetta.
The incident with Panetta and Jordan Subban, which occurred 23 seconds into overtime during the Icemen’s 1-0 home victory over South Carolina on Saturday, comes in the wake of minor league forward Krystof Hrabik’s 30-game suspension for making a racial gesture during an AHL game earlier this month.
Video posted by PK Subban on Twitter shows Panetta taking a monkey-like pose while Jordan Subban is led away by an official. Jordan Subban, who is Black, then skates back toward Panetta and the two lock up at the beginning of a multiplayer skirmish. In a post on his Twitter account, Jordan Subban said Panetta “was too much of a coward” to fight him.
“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,” Jordan Subban posted.
Jacksonville are affiliated with the New York Rangers, and South Carolina are a Washington Capitals affiliate.
Stingrays president Rob Concannon said the team was “disgusted and appalled” by what happened.
PK Subban initially said of the incident that “I’m embarrassed because our game is better than this.” He spoke further about the incident following his game for the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night.
“What I think about is the great people and the great things in our game that I love,”그는 말했다. “But the unfortunate thing isn’t just the incident. The unfortunate thing is how many kids deal with this every day and it doesn’t come to light.”
PK and Jordan have another brother who plays professionally, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Malcolm. He said they had suffered similar incidents throughout their lives.
“I think the biggest thing that I can say about our family, is that we don’t need the pity from anyone,”그는 말했다. “I didn’t need it when I was five years old, I didn’t need it when I was 10 살이에요, I didn’t need it when I played junior hockey, and my brothers didn’t need it.
“We don’t need anyone’s pity. No one felt sorry for us when we went through our experiences growing up. We don’t expect anyone to feel sorry, and we don’t expect anyone to really understand that isn’t Black. If you’re not Black, you’re not going to understand this, and that’s OK.”
The Icemen first said the organization would “make comments and decisions” after the ECHL reviewed the incident. Then team CEO Andy Kaufmann announced Panetta’s release later in the day.
“Though the investigation and review is ongoing at the league level, the Jacksonville Icemen will be releasing the player involved effectively immediately and will continue our mission of sharing our love of community and hockey,” Kaufmann said.
In a video he posted to Twitter, Panetta claimed he had been making “a tough-guy bodybuilder-like gesture” towards Subban to mock him but it was not racist and he had made similar motions to opponents in the past.
“My actions toward Jordan were not because of race, and were not intended as a racial gesture,”그는 말했다. “I did not contemplate at the time that it would be received as a racial gesture, and I attempted to convey this to Jordan when we were sent to the dressing room during the game.
“I see now from Jordan’s reaction that he and others certainly viewed it as a racial gesture, and that my actions have caused a great deal of anger … I want to express to everyone, especially Jordan, that my actions were not racially motivated at all, and I sincerely apologize for the pain and suffering and anger that my actions have caused him, his family and everyone who has been hurt by this.”