Monday, December 5, 2022

MSU hockey's Jagger Joshua victim of verbal racial attack during Ohio State series

November 21, 2022
<p>Sophomore left wing Jagger Joshua (23) fights to regain possession of the puck against Ohio State in the first period. The Spartans fell to the Buckeyes, 1-5, at Munn Ice Arena on Jan. 23, 2020.</p>

Sophomore left wing Jagger Joshua (23) fights to regain possession of the puck against Ohio State in the first period. The Spartans fell to the Buckeyes, 1-5, at Munn Ice Arena on Jan. 23, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Michigan State hockey senior forward Jagger Joshua released a statement on social media Monday evening stating he was called racial slurs "multiple times" by an Ohio State player during a game between the two teams at Munn Ice Arena on Nov. 11.

In his statement, Joshua said a referee overheard the words and assessed a game misconduct penalty. OSU senior forward Kamil Sadlocha received the only 10-minute major of the game at the 10:39 mark of the second period.

Joshua also said an investigation was conducted by the Big Ten in the days following the incident but no further action was taken by the conference or Ohio State. Sadlocha played in the subsequent series last weekend versus Notre Dame.

"The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture," Joshua said in the statement. "The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game and I feel that I need to make people aware that this incident occurred because without acknowledgement, the problem gets worse."

Sadlocha played with Joshua's older brother, Dakota, at Ohio State from 2018-2019 during which Sadlocha redshirted and Dakota was a senior.

MSU athletic director Alan Haller and hockey Head Coach Adam Nightingale both released statements shortly after Joshua expressing their support.

"Michigan State athletics stands with Jagger Joshua and commends him for having the courage to speak up against racial injustice. As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student-athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism or hate," Haller said in an MSU athletics statement.

"At Michigan State, we are committed to a safe and welcoming space for our student-athletes. It is important to me that all student athletes feel comfortable and supported in our locker room and in our program. I am proud to have Jagger Joshua on our team," Nightingale said in the statement.

The State News contacted the Ohio State athletic department and received a statement regarding the incident.

"The Ohio State Department of Athletics and the men’s hockey program worked collaboratively with the Big Ten Conference to come to a resolution in response to the allegation of misconduct toward the Big Ten sportsmanship policy," Ohio State athletics said in the statement.

"Ohio State is focused on providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all. The department is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all. Our Buckeye Inclusion committee has done an outstanding job with providing education and awareness across our department, both for students and staff.  We are committed to recognizing our remarkable diversity and utilizing our core values to ensure everyone attending or participating in an athletic event feels safe and welcome."

The Big Ten also released a statement Monday night addressing its investigation.

"The conference office collected and evaluated information from the Big Ten Conference ice hockey officiating crew, The Ohio State University (OSU), Michigan State University (MSU), and available video footage stemming from an incident involving ice hockey student-athletes from both member institutions at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on November 11, 2022.

"The conference supports the decision by the official to levy a game misconduct penalty on OSU. Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action."

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