One Michigan State hockey player has alleged that he was called a racial slur "multiple times" in the Spartans' game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Nov. 11.
Forward Jagger Joshua posted a statement on Twitter in which he accuses an Ohio State player of calling him a racial slur on multiple occasions, with the player even getting called for a 10-minute game misconduct penalty after an official heard him. The box score from the game indicates that Buckeyes forward Kamil Sadlocha did get a 10-minute misconduct in the second period.
In his statement, Joshua explained that allowing racism to exist within hockey culture can prevent minorities from getting involved with the game.
"Acts of racism do not belong in hockey, as they can discourage African Americans and minorities like myself from playing and loving the game," Joshua said in his statement. "Inactions in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue."
Joshua said he felt the need to speak out because the Big Ten Conference and Ohio State have not taken any action to discipline the player for allegedly using the slur. Joshua did thank his coaches and teammates for supporting him throughout this experience.
"The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture," Joshua said. "The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game, and I feel that I need to make people aware that this incident occurred, because without acknowledgement, the problem gets worse.
"I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, and staff at Michigan State. I am incredibly thankful for their support since this incident and as I have navigated the process."
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller and head coach Adam Nightingale both offered their support to Joshua in statements released by the school.
"Michigan State athletics stands with Jagger Joshua, and commends him for having the courage to speak up against racial injustice," Haller said in his statement. "As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student-athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism or hate."
The Big Ten released a statement to The Detroit News and said that there was a lack of "indisputable evidence" necessary to discipline the Ohio State for his alleged actions.
"Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action," the Big Ten said in its statement. "The Big Ten Conference is committed to providing our student-athletes inclusive environments free from acts of harassment or discrimination in any form. The safety and well-being of our campus communities remains our top priority."
Ohio State also issued a statement to The Detroit News, saying it "worked collaboratively" with the conference in its investigation. The school also said it was "committed to recognizing our remarkable diversity and utilizing our core values to ensure everyone attending or participating in an athletic event feels safe and welcome."