San Jose Sharks teen apologizes for racist gesture after AHL gives him a 30-game suspension

San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik issued a public apology Friday night, hours after the AHL suspended 30 games for making a racist gesture towards the Tucson Roadrunners’ Boko Imama left wing, who is black. black. The incident, in which Hrabik said he was “embarrassed,” took place during the Roadrunners’ 4-3 win on January 12.

In a statement, Hrabik said he was “embarrassed” by the suspension and took “full responsibility” for his actions. However, Hrabik did not admit to having any racist intentions in doing this act.

“People should know that I have absolutely no intentions of being inappropriate,” Hrabik speak. “The gesture was made in battle and although I don’t mean to be racist with what I did, now through my own ignorance I can understand my gesture like that. I alone am responsible for it, it’s terrible, and I make no excuses. When I heard about Boko’s reaction to that gesture, I was horrified by what I had done. .

“Boko is a player I respect and I am very sorry to have let him go through this situation. I have personally apologized to Boko and sincerely hope he will forgive me. would also like to apologize to the American Hockey League, San Jose Barracuda, the Tucson Roadrunners, and my teammates for my unacceptable actions.”

Roadrunners staff informed the AHL of Hrabik making a monkey gesture towards Imama after their January 12 game, and the federation confirmed the incident via video. An investigation was launched the next day, and beginning thereafter, Barracuda kept Hrabik from all team activities.

The San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate will now lose Hrabik until at least April 3 while he serves his suspension. Hrabik, who has played three games on suspension, can apply for early rehab on March 12 “based on an assessment of his progress in the necessary education and training with the Commission.” player integration.”

Hrabik said he would not appeal the AHL’s decision in his statement.

“The Barracuda and San Jose Sharks organizations were appalled to learn of this incident,” Barracuda speak in a statement. “We extend our sincerest apologies to Boko, the Roadrunners organization, the AHL, our fans, and the entire hockey community. While we do support the ability of individuals to redeem and learn from their mistakes, we would like to extend our sincerest apologies to Boko. from incidents of disrespect in this context, but these actions are completely contrary to the values ​​of the Sharks and Barracudas.”

This is not the first time Imama has encountered racist behavior in the AHL. Brandon Manning, then an Ontario Reign defender, received a five-match ban from the tournament after directing a racial slur towards Imama in January 2020. Both took off their gloves when the team Their meet a few weeks later.

“AHL stands with Boko Imama,” AHL president Scott Howson speak in a statement. “It’s not fair that any player should be subjected to remarks or gestures based on their race; they should be judged solely on their ability to perform as an ice player, as a player. as a teammate in the dressing room and as a member of their community.”

Imama, a 27-year-old former Tampa Bay Lightning player, has eight points (four goals, four assists) in 27 games with the Roadrunners this season. Hrabik, 22, has scored four points (one goal, three assists) across 21 matches against Barracuda. San Jose Sharks teen apologizes for racist gesture after AHL gives him a 30-game suspension

James Brien

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