clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Saturday FTB: AHL suspends Krystof Hrabik 30 games for racist gesture

The suspension is a six times stronger punishment than the last racist action Boko Imama faced in the AHL.

Belleville Senators v Laval Rocket
LAVAL, QC - OCTOBER 15: A close-up detail of the AHL logo seen on a referee jersey during the third period between the Belleville Senators and the Laval Rocket at Place Bell on October 15, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Laval Rocket defeated the Belleville Senators 6-2.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The AHL announced yesterday that they have suspended San Jose Barracuda player Krystof Hrabik 30 games for using a racist gesture at Tucson Roadrunners forward Boko Imama on January 12th.

There is some video of the game, showing the Roadrunners irate at Hrabik. Credit to Imama’s teammates, who stood up for him even if he didn’t know what happened himself. We’ve seen time and again hockey players standing by while their teammates suffered direct abuse.

You may remember this isn’t the first time Imama has had racist threats thrown his way, in the AHL alone. Only two years ago, almost to the day, Brandon Manning got suspended five games for a racist taunt at Imama. David Andrews was President and CEO of the league at that time. New President, Scott Howson, has increased the penalty for racism to something at the very least not laughable anymore.

The fact that Imama, and many people of colour in hockey, face racism on a regular basis should not come as a surprise to anyone anymore. It takes very little to stand up for people who face racism and to punish those people in the manner that the system considers a deterrent.

Imama released a statement, expressing his exhaustion to constantly be facing racism in the career and sport he loves. “WE still have a long way to go...”

Roadrunners owner, Xavier A. Gutierrez also came out with a statement, pushing forward the term “racial gesture” and emphasizing that it was indeed a “racist gesture.” There’s a difference, and it’s important to use it.

I appreciate JT Brown’s words on this issue as well. Particularly his use of the word “bullshit.”

Hrabik attempted to apologize, but excused his actions as “in the heat of the moment.” He also wrote it in a text, further showing a lack of effort.

Here is more reporting from Rick Westhead, this time on a class-action lawsuit filed by Daniel Carcillo and several former players against the Canadian Hockey League. The CHL commissioned an independent report on abuse in its leagues and came back with the unsurprising findings that off-ice misconduct has become the “cultural norm.” I think if you ask other hockey leagues to commission a report, they’ll come to the same conclusions.

The system is designed to suppress any sound that everything is fine, slow down the gears of accountability, and protect the image of wrongdoers. Because if no one is seen doing anything wrong, then everything is fine! Look around for a minute and you’ll see this system in other places. Particularly residential schools where they literally buried bodies.


Other News

Here is Leafs prospect Matthew Knies almost setting up a goal.

And here is Leafs prospect Matthews Knies actually scoring a goal.

Here is a dirty head-hit on Leafs prospect Ty Voit.

The Edmonton Oilers sure are playing all the old hits!

No. Do not trade him for Ritchie.

We are on coaching change alert starting tonight.