South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban was subject to racist gestures from Jacob Panetta in a game between the Washington Capitals ECHL affiliate and the Jacksonville Icemen.
Multiple penalties and fights broke out at the start of overtime between both teams. However, Subban took to social media to clarify what exactly transpired on the ice, bringing to light Panetta’s actions.
“More like Jacob Panetta 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,” Subban wrote on Twitter.
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
Subban’s brother, New Jersey Devils blueliner P.K., would supplement video evidence with Panetta following Subban and appearing to impersonate a monkey. The action is one that is recognized as a dehumanizing and racist gesture toward a Black person.
They don’t call the east coast league the jungle because my brother and the other black players are the monkeys! Hey @jacobpanetta you shouldn’t be so quick delete your Twitter or your Instagram account you will probably be able to play again… that’s what history says but things pic.twitter.com/8zOJ9q47pk
— P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) January 23, 2022
On Sunday, the ECHL suspended Panetta indefinitely pending a hearing. Panetta also appeared to delete his social media accounts.
South Carolina also released a statement supporting Subban.
“The South Carolina Stingrays are disgusted and appalled by last night’s incident involving Jordan Subban. 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,” Stingrays president Rob Concannon said.
The Bears and Capitals also voiced their support for Subban.
The Washington Capitals stand in support of Jordan Subban and our ECHL affiliate @SCStingrays after a racist gesture was made against him at Jacksonville on Jan. 22. We must continue to eradicate this type of disgusting behavior from our game and society. https://t.co/zKkTwl56PP
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 23, 2022
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This incident came just one day after the AHL suspended San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik for 30 games for a racial gesture he made toward Tucson Roadrunners forward Boko Imama back on Jan. 12. It also comes in the same week that the NHL honored Willie O’Ree, the first African-American player to play in the league, as Boston retired his No. 22.
Subban, a 2013 fourth-rounder, signed a contract with Hershey over the offseason. The AHL All-Star has played in one game with the Bears this season but has primarily been with the Stingrays. In 26 games with South Carolina, he has racked up four goals and 14 points, along with 49 PIM. He also earned an invite to the ECHL All-Star Classic.