The San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate, San Jose Barracuda, has suspended player Krystof Hrabik. The forward also received a 30 game suspension from the AHL due to his racist actions toward Tuscon Roadrunners forward Boko Imama. Hrabik reportedly made monkey-like movements toward Imama, a Black player.
San Jose's Krystof Hrabik has been suspended 30 games as a consequence of using a racial gesture in a game vs. Tucson on Jan. 12.
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) January 21, 2022
San Jose Barracuda’s Krystof Hrabik Suspended For 30 Games
After the AHL suspension was made public, the team released a statement of their own regarding the subject. “The Barracuda and San Jose Sharks organizations were appalled to learn of this incidence,” the statement said. “We offer our sincerest apologies to Boko, the Roadrunners organizations, the AHL, our fans, and the entire hockey community.”
Statement from the San Jose Barracuda and San Jose Sharks Organizations pic.twitter.com/0lYaLuDbUl
— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) January 21, 2022
Hrabik is an undrafted signee with the Barracudas, in his second season with the organization. He was previously the captain of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. He responded to his suspension by stating, “I am ashamed of today’s events and embarrassed by the actions that led to my suspension. I want everyone to know that I’m very sorry for what has occurred and I take full responsibility for my actions.” In addition to the statement, he decided to not appeal the suspension.
Following the suspension, the victim responded with a statement of his own on Twitter. Boko Imama’s tweet says he’s been dealing with situations and racism like this his entire life. “Even though I honestly believe the sport has made positive strides, WE still have a long way to go to educate the ignorant and make hockey a safe place for everyone.” he wrote.
Not A First Time Occurance In The AHL
Imama, who is under contract with the Arizona Coyotes, was a 6th round selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015. Last year, Imama, whose parents are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, faced a racial slur in another AHL game. Brandon Manning, a defender for the Bakersfield Condors at the time, used a racist slur against Imama. The 25-year-old is in his fifth season in the American Hockey League. The Montreal product spent five seasons in the QMJHL prior to turning professional.
The AHL President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson weighed in on the situation. “The AHL stands with Boko Imama. It is unfair that any player should be subjected to comments or gestures based on their race,” he said. “They should be judged only on their ability to perform as a player on the ice, as a teammate in the locker room and as a member of their community.”
Hrabik has already served three games of his suspension and will be eligible to return on April 3, pending league review.
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