The ECHL comes down HARD on former Icemen defender Jacob Panetta over racist gestures

Mike Armenti
January 27, 2022  (1:30 PM)

The wait is officially over for a decision on ECHL defenseman Jacob Panetta, as the league has elected to make an example of Panetta, issuing a suspension for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

Much has been made of Panetta's widely-discussed gestures directed at South Carolina Stingray's defender Jordan Subban, younger brother of New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, last week.
Panetta, after declining Subban's invitation to drop the gloves, did what he called a "tough guy pose". Obviously, that's not how it looked, and Jordan Subban along a large section of the media and fans viewed the gesture as racially motivated. Panetta was ultimately released from the Jacksonville Icemen last week as a result of the incident.
The ECHL issued the following statement on the matter:
The ECHL announced on Thursday that Jacksonville Icemen forward Jacob Panetta has been suspended for the remainder of the 2021-22 Season (38 games) as a result of a racial gesture during ECHL Game #474, South Carolina @ Jacksonville, on Jan. 22.
Mr. Panetta will have a conditional opportunity to apply to the ECHL for a reduction of the suspension and reinstatement after March 17, 2022, pending successful completion of a learning experience conducted in conjunction with the National Hockey League's Player Inclusion Committee.
ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin concluded the statement with the following message:
"Insensitive actions and gestures, regardless of intent, cannot be tolerated in our game. We all need to learn and grow from this incident, and remain steadfast to further educating and advancing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our league."
I'd be surprised if we see Panetta back in the ECHL again.
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