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.
From what I understand, I don’t think Imama saw anything in the moment. His teammates did, and reported it. He was informed later.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 21, 2022
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...”
Enough is enough! pic.twitter.com/bETzUXEPGo— Boko Imama (@bokojr) January 22, 2022
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.”
Brutal. How many times does Boko Imama have to put up with this bullshit!? I keep hearing that there’s no place in the game for this, well clearly there has been. 30 games is an improvement from 5, but accountability and education will hopefully prevent this stuff. https://t.co/ZJiGxyXd4B— JT Brown (@JTBrown23) January 21, 2022
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.
Krystof Hrabik, suspended today by the AHL, releases a statement where he apologizes to Boko Imama, accepts responsibility and “will do everything in my power to atone.” pic.twitter.com/2XLH31TeVL— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 22, 2022
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.
The CHL commissioned an independent report on abuse in its major-junior league after @CarBombBoom13 & other former players filed a class-action lawsuit.— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) January 22, 2022
A lawyer representing plaintiffs says the report released today is confirmation of the allegations in Dan Carcillo's lawsuit. https://t.co/Z6WnrtVKCu
Here is Leafs prospect Matthew Knies almost setting up a goal.
but, how cool would this have been???? pic.twitter.com/sqVPEq7GsJ— Minnesota Men’s Hockey (@GopherHockey) January 22, 2022
And here is Leafs prospect Matthews Knies actually scoring a goal.
Here is a dirty head-hit on Leafs prospect Ty Voit.
Here was Mark Woolley's garbage hit on Ty Voit tonight. Somehow Voit returned to the game in the 3rd period & got a goal+assist to get Sarnia to OT.— @StingUpdates (@StingUpdates) January 22, 2022
The #LeafsForever prospect has been an absolute rock star for Sarnia this season. #Sting #OHL pic.twitter.com/CpNT9pZYWO
The Edmonton Oilers sure are playing all the old hits!
Spector from the day Mike Smith was resigned. Play the hits! pic.twitter.com/wei7A4aFWN— Dennis King (@DKingBH) January 21, 2022
No. Do not trade him for Ritchie.
Turris (EDM) on waivers— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 21, 2022
We are on coaching change alert starting tonight.
My sense is, a coaching change is not imminent today. It's going to be a day by day process for now. A poor result/effort vs Calgary and there likely won't be any choice. As far as candidates, if change happens, Gulutzan on an interim basis is the most likely IMO.../— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 21, 2022