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Ohio State Apologizes for Buckeyes Hockey Player’s Racial Slurs

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith apologized on behalf of the university to Michigan State hockey player Jagger Joshua after a Buckeyes player allegedly used a racial slur multiple times toward the Spartans player. 

“I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology to Jagger Joshua. On behalf of Ohio State University, I am so sorry,” Smith said in a statement. “No student or student-athlete should experience hatred or racism, and everyone should feel welcome. I have spoken with Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller, and I’m thankful Jagger is getting the support he needs.”

Joshua, who is Black, detailed what happened on social media this week. He wrote that an official heard the Ohio State player use the racial slur during the Nov. 11 game and issued the player a game misconduct penalty. According to the game’s box score, senior Kamil Sadlocha was the lone player dealt a game misconduct. 

The Big Ten subsequently launched an investigation, but as Joshua wrote, there had not been any further public action taken by the Buckeyes or the conference. That is until Smith’s statement, released late Tuesday night. 

Smith wrote that Ohio State reviewed what transpired, and Sadlocha “is returning home and will not practice or compete at this time.” Smith continued in his statement, “I have met with the men’s hockey team and will be meeting with them again soon to discuss our values. The team 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.”

The Big Ten had reviewed information gathered by game officials, both schools and video. However, the conference decided the in-game penalty was sufficient and did not take further action.

“Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action,” the Big Ten said in a statement, per The Detroit News. “The Big Ten Conference is committed to providing our student-athletes inclusive environments free from acts of harassment or discrimination in any form. The safety and well-being of our campus communities remains our top priority.”