Michigan State hockey player Jagger Joshua is calling on the NCAA to take action after he alleges that he was taunted with racial slurs by an opponent.
The 23-year-old forward said in a statement Monday that an Ohio State player repeatedly called him a racial slur during a game on Nov. 11. The player, who is unnamed in the statement, received a misconduct during the game after a referee overheard the taunting.
Joshua, however, expressed his displeasure with the handling of the incident in the immediate aftermath, explaining that no further public action has been taken by the Big 10 or Ohio State prior to his statement.
"The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture,” he said. “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 acknowledgement, the problem gets worse.”
Acts of racism do not belong in hockey.. pic.twitter.com/nm9AnIjSgV
— Jagger Joshua (@jaggerjoshua8) November 21, 2022
While no Ohio State player was named, Buckeyes centre Kamil Sadlocha did receive a game misconduct during the game in question. Sadlocha notably played in Ohio State’s following two games against Notre Dame.
On Tuesday, in statement to The Hockey News' Ian Kennedy, Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith apologized to Joshua, and stated that Sadlocha has been sent home and will be away from the team for an undetermined amount of time.
"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 just received confirmation that Ohio State has sent Kamil Sadlocha home following his racist slurs toward Michigan State hockey player Jagger Joshua. Here is the message from Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith pic.twitter.com/vqzP2nbCry
— Ian Kennedy (@IanKennedyCK) November 23, 2022
In addition to Joshua’s statement, the Michigan State Spartans also released a statement, reiterating their support for the senior.
“As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism, or hate.” Alan Haller, the university’s VP and Director of Athletics said.
Statements from Michigan State VP and Director of Athletics Alan Haller and hockey coach Adam Nightingale. pic.twitter.com/ajtmlCCscq
— Michigan State Athletics (@MSU_Athletics) November 21, 2022
Joshua received widespread support from across Twitter following his public statement, including some kind words from several prominent voices in the hockey community.
Unfortunate this continues to happen on a weekly basis. We are behind you, Jagger! https://t.co/Mzqm3SPanj
— Hockey Diversity Alliance (@TheOfficialHDA) November 22, 2022
This is ragging me! How about you all?! https://t.co/UTBmVEfnYb
— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) November 22, 2022
It's tough to continue reading these stories. Thank you for using your voice Jagger, and I hope this never happens again in the sport. The Big Ten needs to act and show racism has no place in hockey or society. https://t.co/njlUg9IN5c
— Ian Kennedy (@IanKennedyCK) November 22, 2022
You deserve to feel safe on and off the ice and in the hockey community. Sending you support and strength and calling on Ohio State and the entire Big Ten to do better and make this right.
— Anne Tokarski (@annetokarski) November 22, 2022
On the season, the Michigan native leads all Spartans with six goals, to go along with 11 points through 14 games. His Spartans currently sit at 5-2-1-0 within the Big 10, good for second in the conference.
Jagger's older brother Dakota is a forward for the Vancouver Canucks.
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