Ohio State University has responded to the allegations of a racist slur by men’s hockey player Kamil Sadlocha toward Michigan State forward Jagger Joshua.
“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua. On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry,” Ohio State director of athletics, Gene Smith, said in a statement.
Smith’s apology to Joshua comes after the Michigan State forward released a statement on social media Monday saying that Sadlocha made “a racial slur multiple times” toward him during their Nov. 11 contest.
The Big Ten Conference said on Tuesday after collecting and reviewing information from the incident, it hasn’t imposed any disciplinary action on the Ohio State player.
Joshua accused Ohio State University and the Big Ten Conference of inaction in the face of evidence from Joshua himself and on-ice officials who handed Sadlocha a game misconduct for his racist actions at the time.
“Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue,” Joshua said on Monday.
Only a day after Joshua posted his comments publicly, however, Ohio State acted, saying Sadlocha is returning home and would not practise or compete with the team.
“No student or student-athlete should experience hatred or racism, and everyone should feel welcome,” Smith’s statement said. “I have spoken with Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller, and I’m thankful Jagger is getting the support he needs.”
“Over the last week, the Department of Athletics has worked through this on-ice incident and spoken with Kamil Sadlocha and the rest of the team, and Kamil is returning home and will not practise or compete at this time.”
Smith also pointed to his intent to continue the conversation and efforts to educate Ohio State’s men’s hockey team.
“I have met with the men’s hockey team and will be meeting with them again soon to discuss our values,” Smith said. “The team will complete education on racial sensitivity, diversity, equity, inclusion and the use of respectful dialogue. The department and I will support them through this important process.”
Michigan State released a statement of their own shortly after Joshua’s on Monday, standing in solidarity with the fourth-year player.
“Michigan State Athletics stands with Jagger Joshua, and commends him for having the courage to speak up against racial injustice,” wrote Michigan State vice president and director of athletics, Alan Haller. “As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student-athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism or hate.”
Sadlocha, 23, is also in his fourth season in the NCAA. Before playing with Ohio State, he played with the USHL’s Madison Capitols, and also had stints with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Juniors. As of Tuesday night, Sadlocha hasn’t yet commented or released a statement responding to the allegation.