P.K. Subban Discusses Jacob Panetta's Alleged Racist Taunt Toward His Brother Jordan

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2022

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 8: P.K. Subban #76 of the New Jersey Devils passes the puck during the first period of a game at Nationwide Arena on January 8, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images)
Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

NHL veteran P.K. Subban expressed his disappointment after learning his brother Jordan Subban was allegedly a target of racist taunts during a hockey game.

"I didn't sleep much," he told reporters Sunday. "Sheer disappointment. It's distasteful. There is no room for it in our game. I'm embarrassed because our game is better than this."

In an ECHL game between the Jacksonville Icemen and South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday, a fight took place early in overtime. After the game, Jordan Subban, a Stingrays defenseman, tweeted about his fight with Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta:

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>

The Icemen have released Panetta, and he is indefinitely suspended by the ECHL, pending a hearing.

Stingrays team president Rob Concannon said the organization was "appalled by the incident."

P.K. Subban was named an ambassador for Hockey For All in October, an initiative created to promote diversity in hockey, and he has been in ad campaigns to foster inclusion in the sport:

Scotiabank @scotiabank

Canada’s game should be for all Canadians. That’s why Scotiabank is on a mission to make hockey more diverse, more inclusive and more accessible for all. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HockeyforAll?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HockeyforAll</a>

"I'd rather people focus on how we can change it and make it better so the next kid that looks like P.K. Subban or Jordan Subban doesn't have to go through this," he said Sunday.

He also said this wasn't a rare experience for Black players in hockey.

"What I think about is the great people and the great things in our game that I love," Subban 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. ... This is life for people who look like me who have gone through the game of hockey. And that's part of the history, whether we like it or not."

The 32-year-old three-time All-Star is in his third season with the New Jersey Devils and 13th overall in the NHL.