Canucks brother winger alleges racist attack at NCAA hockey game

Jagger Joshua says authorities are not doing enough to counter racist behavior

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Jagger Joshua, younger brother of Vancouver Canucks winger Dakota Joshua, says he was the target of racist language during an NCAA hockey game between Joshua’s Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes and that college hockey authorities are not doing enough to counter racist behavior.

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According to a social media post Joshua posted on Monday, during a Nov. 11 game between the two teams, an Ohio State player used racial slurs against Joshua more than once.

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Although Joshua, who is black, did not name the OSU player, it is clear that it is Kamil Sadlocha, a 23-year-old senior and one of OSU’s top scorers. who allegedly used racial slurs.

A linesman overheard Sadlocha using the racist language one last time and after speaking with the referees, Sadlocha was given a game foul by the referees, which is the penalty under NCAA rules for a racist language.

Sadlocha has not faced further disciplinary action from authorities in the Big Ten, the conference of which both universities are members, and Joshua expressed frustration at the Big Ten’s lack of action.

“Acts of racism have no place in hockey as they can discourage African Americans and minorities like me from playing and loving the game,” he wrote in his post. “Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allows these behaviors to continue.”

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“The inaction has left me perplexed and pessimistic about the diversity movement within hockey culture. Ignorance of racism has no place in our game, and I feel that I need to make people aware that his incident happened, because without recognition the problem escalates,” he said. he adds.

Dakota Joshua of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabers at KeyBank Center on November 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.
Dakota Joshua of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabers at KeyBank Center on November 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. Photo by Joshua Bessex /Getty Images

Dakota Joshua spoke out for her brother and against racism following the Canucks’ 5-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.

“There’s no place for that in this game and in life in general,” he told reporters. “It’s a terrible situation to be in. But his goal is to spread it so people can be inspired by it and hope it doesn’t happen again.

“You’d like to think we’ve come a long way, especially in the last few years, but obviously it’s still going,” he added. “Until it’s non-existent, I don’t think it’s surprising.”

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Late Tuesday, after a firestorm of criticism over OSU’s initial response to do nothing beyond assessed game misconduct against Sadlocha, OSU athletic director Gene Smith announced that Sadlocha had now was sent home and would not train or compete with OSU men’s hockey. team “at this time.

“No student or student-athlete should experience hate or racism, and everyone should feel welcome. I’ve spoken with Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller and I’m grateful Jagger is getting the support he needs,” Smith said.

He met with the OSU and Sadlocha men’s hockey team over the past week and said he would meet them again soon.

“The team will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialogue,” he said.

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On Monday, after Joshua initially spoke about the situation, the Big Ten released a statement in response to questions from reporters as to why they had not imposed additional discipline on Sadlocha.

Big Ten authorities said they supported the official’s decision to assess a game foul, but said further review of the incident, including review of video of the game and the conversation with the officials as well as the representatives of the two teams did not reveal “undeniable” evidence and therefore the conference did not impose more discipline.

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Also on Monday, a full day before Smith’s update, OSU told the Columbus Dispatch that the university’s athletic department and men’s hockey team “worked cooperatively” with the Big Ten to “come to a resolution”, but did not specify what the resolution was.

On Tuesday, former NHL player PK Subban spoke out in favor of Joshua and said he and Anson Carter, who traveled to Michigan State, were very disappointed with the Big Ten’s initial response and of the USO. Subban, who retired as a player this summer, and Carter, who has worked as a hockey broadcaster for several years since retiring, are the co-chairs of the NHL’s Player Inclusions Committee.

“It’s not about hockey…it’s about people respecting a privilege that has been given to these athletes to be able to compete in a fair and welcoming environment,” he said on Twitter. “Ridiculous. If not now when?”

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Michigan State’s athletic director and head hockey coach both shared messages of support for Joshua on Monday.

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Sadlocha is originally from Poland but grew up in the Chicago area. He played two seasons in the USHL before joining OSU. During those two seasons, Joshua was also playing in the USHL.

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Catherine J. Martinez