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Canadian Jacob Panetta suspended indefinitely by the ECHL for an apparently racist gesture

Canadian Jacob Panetta suspended indefinitely by the ECHL for an apparently racist gesture

The ECHL acted quickly on Sunday, indefinitely suspending Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta, pending a hearing, for an apparent racist gesture towards fellow Canadian Jordan Subban of the South Carolina Stingrays during Saturday night’s game. .

Video of the incident 23 seconds into overtime in Florida City shows Panetta, of Belleville, Ont., appearing to raise his arms to his side while staring at Subban, also a defenseman and a native of Rexdale, Ont.

According to the Florida-Times Union, the game report says the officiating team assessed Panetta’s two misconduct penalties for continuing an altercation and for “incitement,” under ECHL Rule 75.5. , which applies to “obscene gestures on the ice or anywhere in the rink”. before, during or after the game.”

After the match, Subban accused Panetta of making a monkey move. His older brother PK, an NHL defenseman with the New Jersey Devils, took to Twitter to react to the incident at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

“We all know what’s right and what’s wrong,” the elder Subban continued. “Even your own teammates wanted to see you clean your clock. It happens a lot and it’s never on display in the lower leagues. One thing I love about it is Jordan’s teammates standing there and showing their support. I love it.”

Jordan Subban also shares some thoughts on social media.

“More like [Panetta] was too coward to fight me and as soon as i started to turn his back on me he started making monkey gestures at me so i punched him in the face several times and he tortured himself like the coward that ‘he is,’ said Subban
wrote on his Twitter account.

Jacksonville currently has no black players on its active roster after goaltender Charles Williams was called up to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League earlier this month.

Saturday’s incident came a day after the American Hockey League banned San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik for 30 games following a racist gesture towards another player earlier this month .

Earlier in the week, the Boston Bruins elevated Willie O’Ree’s number 22, the first black player to appear in an NHL game, to the rafters of TD Garden. The 86-year-old Fredericton native is well known for trying to fight the racism that still exists in the league.

The East Coast Hockey League is a mid-level professional loop made up of 25 American teams and two in Canada – the Newfoundland Growlers of St. John’s and the Lions of Trois-Rivières (Que.).

Panetta, 26, is a regular for the Southern Division Icemen after playing six games in his rookie season a year ago.

The longest suspension in Icemen history is 16 games, according to the Florida Times-Union, imposed on Emerson Clark in January 2020 for physical abuse of an on-ice official.