Jan 27: Panetta has been suspended for the remainder of the ECHL season, which amounts to 38 games. Commissioner Ryan Crelin released the following statement:
Insensitive actions and gestures, regardless of intent, cannot be tolerated in our game. We all need to learn and grow from this incident, and remain steadfast to further educating and advancing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our league.
Panetta will have a conditional opportunity to apply for reduction of the suspension and reinstatement after March 17, 2022, pending successful completion of a learning experience conducted in conjunction with the NHL’s Player Inclusion Committee.
Jan 23: The ECHL has announced an indefinite suspension for Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta in response to racist gestures made toward South Carolina Stingrays counterpart Jordan Subban on Saturday. The final determination of Panetta’s suspension will be made following a hearing in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Panetta will find it hard to defend his racist actions in last night’s game, which were clearly caught on camera during overtime of the ECHL contest. The video was then shared all over the internet, most notably by the eldest Subban, NHL star P.K. Subban.
The AHL just recently suspended San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik for 30 games for racist actions, though it took more than a week to make that decision. The ECHL wasted no time in taking Panetta off the ice.
Panetta is in his second pro season, both with Jacksonville, after four years at Colgate University. Subban is a former NHL prospect, drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the fourth round of the 2013 Draft. He last played on an NHL contract in 2018-19 and is in his first season playing primarily in the ECHL.
The Jacksonville Icemen, after initially stating this morning that the team would wait to take any action until a league review had concluded, announced they’ve released Panetta. Team CEO Andy Kaufmann, in the statement, pledged to “continue [their] mission of sharing our love of community and hockey.”