The Ohio State hockey player who has been accused of directing a racial slur toward Michigan State player Jagger Joshua “multiple times,” is away from the team for now.
Late Tuesday night, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith issued a statement regarding the incident. In the release, Smith names the Buckeyes’ player accused of using the slur, which Joshua declined to do.
“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua. On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry,” Smith wrote in the statement. “No student or student-athlete should experience hatred or racism, and everyone should feel welcome. I have spoken with Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller, and I’m thankful Jagger is getting the support he needs.
“Over the last week, the department of athletics has worked through this on-ice incident and spoken with Kamil Sadlocha and the rest of the team, and Kamil is returning home and will not practice or compete at this time.
“I have met with the men’s hockey team and will be meeting with them again soon to discuss our values. The team will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialog. The department and I will support them through this important process.”
On Monday, Joshua, who is a senior at Michigan State, posted a message to social media where he claimed that a racial slur was directed toward him on several occasions in a Nov. 11 win over the Buckeyes.
“Acts of racism do not belong in hockey, as they can discourage African Americans and minorities like myself from playing and loving the game,” Joshua wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue.
“On November 11th in our game against Ohio State, one of their players called me a racial slur multiple times. One of the officials heard the slur and gave the player a game misconduct penalty. There was an investigation by the Big Ten in the days after the incident, but no further action has been taken by the Big Ten conference or Ohio State.”
“The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture,” Joshua continued. “The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game, and I feel that I need to make people aware that this incident occurred, because without acknowledgment, the problem gets worse.”
The Big Ten conference declined to administer punishment, saying that “indisputable evidence” did not exist.
“Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action,” the Big Ten said in a statement to The Detroit News.