SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The American Hockey League has suspended San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik 30 games for making a "racial gesture" at Tucson Roadrunners left-wing Boko Imama during a game last week.
The league said in a release that Hrabik made the gesture at Imama, who is Black, during Tucson's 4-3 win over San Jose on Jan. 12.
Hrabik, who has already served three games of the suspension, would be eligible to return April 3.
The AHL said in a statement that Hrabik may apply for reinstatement after March 12, based on an evaluation of his progress in the education and training on racism and inclusion administered by the NHL's Player Inclusion Committee.
Imama, born in Montreal to parents who immigrated from Democratic Republic of Congo, has been subjected to racist behaviour in the AHL before. Bakersfield Condors defenceman Brandon Manning using a racial slur in an altercation with Imama during a Jan. 22, 2020 game, when Imama was with the Ontario Reign.
Manning was suspended five games for uttering the slur.
“The AHL stands with Boko Imama,” AHL commissioner Scott Howson said in a statement. “It is unfair that any player should be subjected to comments or gestures based on their race; they should be judged only on their ability to perform as a player on the ice, as a teammate in the locker room and as a member of their community.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.
The Canadian Press