Jacob Panetta Released for Alleged Racist Taunt at Jordan Subban amid Investigation

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2022

VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jordan Subban of Dornbirn during the Vienna Capitals v Dornbirn Bulldogs - Erste Bank Eishockey Liga at Erste Bank Arena on September 22, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Stephan Woldron/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)
Stephan Woldron/SEPA.Media /Getty Images

Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta has been suspended indefinitely by the ECHL after allegedly taunting South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban in a racist manner, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.

The Icemen announced in a statement later Sunday that Panetta had been released:

Jacksonville Icemen @JaxIcemen

<a href="https://t.co/uEjbXqfsDO">pic.twitter.com/uEjbXqfsDO</a>

The alleged taunt occurred during Saturday's game in the overtime period. A scuffle broke out between the teams after South Carolina's Andrew Cherniwchan ran into Jacksonville goalie Justin Kapelmaster. 

Jordan Subban @jordansubban

More like <a href="https://twitter.com/JPanetta12?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JPanetta12</a> was too much of a coward to fight me and as soon 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. There fixed it 👍🏾 <a href="https://t.co/JtPqpN9wwE">https://t.co/JtPqpN9wwE</a>

P.K. Subban @PKSubban1

They don’t call the east coast league the jungle because my brother and the other black players are the monkeys! Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/jacobpanetta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jacobpanetta</a> you shouldn’t be so quick delete your Twitter or your Instagram account you will probably be able to play again… that’s what history says but things <a href="https://t.co/8zOJ9q47pk">pic.twitter.com/8zOJ9q47pk</a>

"The South Carolina Stingrays are disgusted and appalled by last night's incident involving Jordan Subban," team president Rob Concannon said in a statement. "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 is unacceptable and has to stop."

Panetta posted a pair of videos on Twitter to apologize, also saying that he made a "tough guy, bodybuilder-like gesture" toward Subban that was not intended to be a racist gesture:

Jacob Panetta @JPanetta12

<a href="https://twitter.com/jordansubban?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jordansubban</a> racism has no place in this world and no place in the game we love. <a href="https://t.co/0UVYJQVD1U">pic.twitter.com/0UVYJQVD1U</a>

Jacob Panetta @JPanetta12

<a href="https://twitter.com/jordansubban?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jordansubban</a> part 2 <a href="https://t.co/BOyHVINu6c">pic.twitter.com/BOyHVINu6c</a>

He added he did not use any "racial slurs, noises or anything of the like."

After Subban and Panetta fought and were given major and misconduct penalties, Subban's teammate Nico Blachman came off the Stingrays bench and punched Panetta. He was given a game misconduct. 

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, the younger Subban's brother, responded to the situation in a series of tweets:

P.K. Subban @PKSubban1

are changing. now not just the hockey world knows your true colours… your hometown of Belleville knows, your family, and friends know you’re a fraud ..with everything that has gone on in the past couple years in the world I’ll say with all due respect to everyone who has an

P.K. Subban @PKSubban1

opinion, this isn’t a mistake. 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. One thing that I love about this is Jordan’s teammates standing in there and

P.K. Subban @PKSubban1

showing support. Love that. Shout out to <a href="https://twitter.com/RobConcannon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@robconcannon</a> &amp; @scstingrayshockey 🙌🏿 leave your comments below. I’m done🤙🏿 <a href="https://twitter.com/NHL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NHL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ECHL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ECHL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TheAHL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheAHL</a>

On Friday, San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik was suspended 30 games by the AHL after making a racist gesture toward Boko Imama of the Tucson Roadrunners:

Boko Imama @bokojr

Enough is enough! <a href="https://t.co/bETzUXEPGo">pic.twitter.com/bETzUXEPGo</a>

And last year, the Ukrainian Hockey League's Andrei Deniskin was suspended 13 games for making a racist gesture toward Jalen Smereck.

"It's the 1st month of 2022 and there has already been 2 racial gestures in the 2nd and 3rd highest leagues in North America," Smereck wrote in his Instagram Stories. "Just think about how many are happeneing at the youth level to young kids that we don't see or ever know about because the game isn't being recorded."