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Ohio St. Apologizes to MSU Hockey Player Over Racial Slurs

Ohio State University athletic director Gene Smith has issued a formal apology to Michigan State University hockey forward Jagger Joshua after he accused a Buckeyes player of hurling a racial slur “multiple times” at him during a game earlier this month. 

According to Joshua, who is Black and plays for MSU’s Spartans team, the racist incident happened on Nov. 11, when OSU visited East Lansing and lost 4-3. While Joshua did not specify the exact words said to him on the ice, the Buckeyes player allegedly responsible for the abuse has been identified as forward Kamil Sadlocha.

After Joshua and several sports fans took to Twitter to express their anger at OSU for their lackluster investigation following the incident, including an apology that didn’t even mention racism or Joshua by name, Smith posted a more heartfelt and lengthy apology to his Twitter page.

“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua,” Smith’s statement begins. “On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry. No student or student-athlete should experience hatred or racism, and everyone should feel welcome.” 

In his statement, Smith said he has met with the OSU hockey team and will meet with them again in light of the incident. He promised that players “will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion, and the use of respectful dialog.”

“The department and I will support them through this important process,” he added.

Smith also said that the athletic department spoke to Sadlocha, a 23-year-old redshirt senior from Chicago. Smith says that Sadlocha has returned home and will “not practice or compete at this time.” While there’s a possibility that Sadlocha may return to play at some point in the future, his punishment is more severe than what was initially planned.

In Joshua’s Twitter statement, the player stated that acts of racism had no place in hockey.

“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 the post. “Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue.”

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