ECHL Suspends Defenceman Jacob Panetta Indefinitely

Jacob Panetta Suspended
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The ECHL announced on Sunday that they suspended Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta indefinitely pending a hearing. The suspension comes after the defenceman threw racial at South Carolina Stingrays Defenseman Jordan Subban during their matchup on Saturday. This comes after the AHL suspended San Jose Barracuda Forward Krystof Hrabik 30 games for a similar incident.

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ECHL Defenceman Jacob Panetta Suspended For Racist Gesture

The ECHL has suspended Defenseman Jacob Panetta for making a racist gesture toward Jordan Subban during Saturday’s matchup. After a scuffle with Subban, Panetta appears to imitate a monkey at Subban, who’s a black player.

Panetta had 5 goals for 17 points in 31 games this season for the Icemen, and Subban has 14 points in 26 games for the Stingrays. Jordan Subban is the brother of Malcolm and P.K. Subban. It was the New Jersey Devils player who brought light to the scenario, posting the video of the incident to social media. In the post, he calls out the ECHL, asking the league to punish Panetta for his actions.

This story became viral across social media, as racist incidents in lower leagues are now drawing more attention. In addition to this incident, the AHL suspended player Krystof Hrabik on Friday, after a racist incident that occurred on January 12. The amount of social media coverage that these leagues are getting helps to motivate the suspensions. As the attention grows, the incidents get recorded or documented on sites like Twitter and Instagram. Consequently, the treatment black players receive in lower-tier professional hockey leagues is getting highlighted – leading to social media backlash from fans.

Jacksonville Icemen Release Panetta

As a result of the league’s suspension, the Jacksonville Icemen quickly released Panetta from his duties due to the altercation.

The team released a statement, where they stated that their organization is about “one love and zero tolerance against any form of hate against any group whatsoever”. In the statement, the organization apologized to anyone who the gesture offended. As for the players involved, neither one has made a statement about the incident yet.

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