Ohio State Director of Athletics Gene Smith issued an apology on behalf of the men’s hockey team Tuesday night after allegations one of the Buckeyes directed a racial slur at Michigan State’s Jagger Joshua.
“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua,” Smith said in a statement. “On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry.”
On Tuesday, Joshua announced via social media an Ohio State player later identified as Kamil Sadlocha directed a racial slur at him multiple times during a game Nov. 11.
Saclocha was assessed a game misconduct and ejected by an official who heard the word used on the ice, but no further discipline was handed down following the game.
“The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture,” Joshua, a Michigan native whose older brother Dakota played at Ohio State, wrote in his social media post. “The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game.”
The Big Ten announced it had investigated the incident and decided not to hand down further discipline beyond the ejection “due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference.” Smith said Sadlocha was sent home but not removed from the team.
“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.
“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 have met with the men’s hockey team and will be meeting with them again soon to discuss our values. The team will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialog. The department and I will support them through this important process.”
Dakota Joshua now plays in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks and told reporters, “There’s no room for that in this game and life in general” and calling it “a terrible situation to be a part of.”
“You would like to think we’ve come a long way, especially over recent years, but obviously it still keeps happening so until it’s non-existent, I don’t think it’s surprising,” the older Joshua said.