AHL suspends Brandon Manning five games for use of racial slur towards opponent

AHL defenseman Brandon Manning, who has played nine games for the Oilers this season, has been suspended five games for use of a racial slur towards an opponent during the Bakersfield Condors' Monday loss to the Ontario Reign.
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The AHL has handed Bakersfield Condors defenseman Brandon Manning a five-game suspension for use of a racial slur during Monday’s contest against the Ontario Reign.

Manning’s suspension relates to an altercation between he and Reign forward Bokondji Imama in the second period of a Condors 3-0 loss to the Reign. Per the contest’s box score, both Manning and Imama were assessed matching roughing minors six minutes into the middle period, at which point Manning was also slapped with an additional misconduct.

The AHL’s game report indicates that Manning was handed the game misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct under rule 75.5(ii), which states: “Any player who uses obscene gestures on the ice or anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game. The Referee shall report the circumstance to the President of the League for further disciplinary action. Any player assessed a game misconduct under this section shall automatically be suspended for the next two (2) regularly scheduled games of his team.”

However, the AHL’s official announcement stated Manning was suspended “under the provisions of AHL Rule 23.9 for use of a racial slur towards an opponent.” Rule 23.9(ii) of the AHL rulebook covers game misconducts for use of a racial slur.

When Manning’s suspension was announced by the league Tuesday, it was followed by statements from Manning and Edmonton Oilers assistant GM Keith Gretzky, who serves as Condors GM in addition to his role with the NHL club.

In his statement, Manning, 29, called his comments to Imama “stupid and offensive,” adding that he spoke with the 23-year-old following the contest. “He allowed me to apologize and I took full responsibility for what I said,” Manning said in his statement. “To say I’ve learned from this situation is an understatement and I promise to be better.”

Said Gretzky: “We are aware of an unacceptable comment directed toward an Ontario Reign player by Bakersfield Condors defensemen Brandon Manning during last night’s game. This is a very serious matter, we are disappointed by Brandon’s comment and we fully support the American Hockey League’s decision. The Oilers and Condors organizations wholeheartedly believe in a respectful workplace and will work to better educate our players on appropriate conduct on and off the ice.”

Neither Imama or the Reign have commented on Manning’s use of the slur or the AHL’s suspension.

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