Jordan Subban of the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays accused Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta of making racist gestures towards him during a game on Saturday. According to Subban, Panetta made “monkey gestures” towards him during a skirmish that took place in overtime.
Panetta was suspended indefinitely by the ECHL following the incident (pending a hearing) and Jacksonville cut Panetta afterwards.
“As I began to turn my back he started making monkey gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is,” Subban wrote on Twitter after the game.
P.K. spoke up for his brother and for others who have experienced racism in hockey.
“opinion, this isn’t a mistake,” P.K. wrote. “We all know what’s ok and what’s not. Even your own teammates wanted to see you get your clock cleaned. This happens a lot and it never gets exposed in the lower leagues.”
After the Devils’ game on Sunday, P.K. spoke with reporters about situations like the one his brother went through and how it happens at all levels of the sport.
“What I think about is the great people and the great things in our game that I love,” he said. “But the unfortunate thing isn’t just the incident. The unfortunate thing is how many kids deal with this every day and it doesn’t come to light.”
P.K. and Jordan have another brother, Malcolm Subban, who is a goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres.
“I think the biggest thing that I can say about our family, is that we don’t need the pity from anyone,” he said. “I didn’t need it when I was five years old, I didn’t need it when I was 10 years old, I didn’t need it when I played junior hockey, and my brothers didn’t need it… We don’t expect anyone to feel sorry, and we don’t expect anyone to really understand that isn’t Black.
“If you’re not Black, you’re not going to understand this, and that’s OK.”
Panetta has claimed that his gestures were not intended to be racist. According to him, he made “a tough-guy bodybuilder-like gesture.” He later apologized to Jordan and everyone else impacted by his actions.