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Devils’ P.K. Subban ‘Embarrassed’ for Hockey After Brother Is Target of Alleged Racist Taunt

Devils defenseman P.K. Subban condemned the “distasteful” racist gesture that was allegedly directed toward his brother, Jordan Subban, a defenseman for the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays, this weekend.

On Saturday, video footage from a game between the Jacksonville Icemen and Stingrays showed then Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta gesturing toward Jordan Subban during an altercation at the beginning of overtime.

“More like @JPanetta12 was too much of a coward to fight me and as soon as I began to turn my back he started making monkey gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is,” Jordan Subban wrote on Twitter.

On Sunday, the league suspended Panetta indefinitely and the Icemen subsequently announced that though the league's investigation of the incident is ongoing, they would release Panetta "effective immediately."

P.K. Subban provided his thoughts on the incident following New Jersey's loss to the Kings on Sunday. He had posted a series of social media messages earlier in the day, but his postgame pressure conference featured his first comments in person.

“I didn't sleep much,” he said. “I think I got to bed at like maybe 5 a.m. Obviously I had a conversation with my family ... sheer disappointment. It's distasteful. There's no room for it in our game. I'm embarrassed because our game is better than this. What I think about is all the great people and the great things about our game that I love.”

P.K. is the oldest of his three brothers who play professional hockey. His brother Malcolm Subban, 28, is a goaltender for the Sabres. Jordan is 26 and was a fourth-round pick of the Canucks in the 2013 NHL draft.

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P.K. told reporters that his family discussed the incident together Sunday morning.

“The unfortunate thing isn't just the incident; the unfortunate thing is how many kids deal with this every day and it doesn't come to light,” he said. “And in this case, without that following, without that platform, am I standing here right now? Is ESPN talking about it? Is everyone outside of the hockey world talking about it? Probably not, so that's the unfortunate thing. I think about all the other kids and people that deal with this every day, and it doesn't get talked about.”

The Stingrays' NHL and AHL affiliates, the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears, also responded to the incident. “We must continue to eradicate this type of disgusting behavior from our game and society,” the Capitals wrote on Twitter.

Stingrays team president Rob Concannon said that “this behavior is unacceptable and has to stop.”

Saturday night's incident came a day after the AHL suspended Krystof Hrabik of the San Jose Barracuda for 30 games for directing a racist gesture at Tucson Roadrunners forward Boko Imama during a game.

Hrabik will have the option to take part in training with the NHL's Player Inclusion Committee, for which P.K. Subban is a co-chair, to reduce his suspension.

“This is life for people that look like me, who have gone through the game of hockey,” P.K. said. “And that's part of the history, whether we like it or not, and we're trying to change that. I'm an advocate to change that. But to do that, we've got to bring people together. And hopefully this is another step in doing that.”

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