Stingrays’ Subban target of accused racist gesture in Saturday’s game

Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 11:41 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 5:56 AM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, FL (WCSC) - Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban was the target of a racist gesture on Saturday night by one of the Jacksonville Icemen players.

At the start of overtime, Jacksonville’s Jordan Panetta can be seen on video making gestures that appeared to look like a monkey towards Subban, who is Black, during an altercation. Subban said in a tweet “as soon as I began to turn my back he started making money gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is.”

Video of the incident was tweeted out by Subban’s brother, NHL star P.K. Subban.

The ECHL announced on Sunday morning that Panetta “has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing under the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the ECHL and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The ECHL will have no further comment until the hearing is complete.”

The Stingrays released a statement on Sunday morning from team President Rob Concannon saying “The South Carolina Stingays are disgusted and appalled by last night’s incident involving Jordan Subban. Our organization stands in support of our friend and teammate, Jordan, as well as all other players who continue to deal with racism and discrimination. This behavior has to stop and is unacceptable.

The Rays and Icemen meet again on Sunday at the North Charleston Coliseum.

After initially releasing a statement saying they were cooperating with the league on the review of the incident, the Jacksonville Icemen released another statement on Sunday morning saying the team is releasing Panetta immediately.

On Sunday evening, Panetta released a statement on social media saying he wasn’t trying to make a racial gesture towards Subban and instead he was trying to imply that Subban was being a tough guy.

“When the linesman got between us, I told him ‘you’re only tough when the refs get involved’” Panetta said. “I did a tough guy, bodybuilder like gesture towards him. My actions towards Jordan were not because of race and were not intended as a racial gesture.”

The Stingrays said on Sunday night they’d have no comment on Panetta’s statement.

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