EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State hockey player Jagger Joshua has alleged an opponent from Ohio State directed a racial slur at him multiple times during a game earlier this month.
Jagger, who is Black, shared his experience on social media from the Nov. 11 game at home in which the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes 4-3.
Jagger said an official in the game heard what the opposing player said, and gave him a game misconduct penalty. The box score that day shows Ohio State senior forward Kamil Sadlocha was the only player given a game misconduct.
In a statement Tuesday night, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Sadlocha “is returning home and will not practice or compete at this time.”
“No student or student-athlete should experience hatred or racism, and everyone should feel welcome,” Smith said. “I have spoken with Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller, and I’m thankful Jagger is getting the support he needs.”
Smith added that the hockey team “will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialog.”
The Big Ten collected and evaluated information from the conference’s officiating crew, both schools and video footage and supported the in-game penalty on the Buckeyes, but decided against further punishment.
“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.
Joshua said he was motivated to publicly share his version of the events because racism in the sport will get worse if it is not acknowledged.
“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 his post. “Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue.
“The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture.”
Ohio State said its athletic department and hockey program worked with the Big Ten to come to a resolution following the allegation of misconduct.
“Ohio State is focused on providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all,” the school said in a statement.