Jacksonville’s released Icemen player responds to racist allegations that threw him off the team

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville Icemen Jacob Panetta took to social media on Sunday to respond to allegations that led to his official dismissal from the team and an indefinite suspension from the ECHL.

The 26-year-old Ontario defenseman was accused of making “monkey gestures” toward South Carolina Stingrays forward Jordan Subban during Saturday night’s overtime at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena.

In the three-minute apology, which was posted to Instagram, Panetta said he was making a “tough bodybuilder gesture” to Subban. Panetta added that he made the same gesture to other players during confrontations on the ice.

“My actions towards Jordan were not racial and were not meant to be a racist gesture. I didn’t think at the time that this would be perceived as a racist gesture by some,” he said.


Panetta added that he said no insults or noises during the incident.

“I see now from Jordan’s reaction that he and others certainly saw it as a racist gesture and that my actions have caused much anger and excitement for Jordan, his family and countless others,” Panetta said.

Jordan Subban made the allegation while responding to a tweet from the Icemen account that said a tough fight resulted in multiple penalties from both sides. According to Jordan Subban, Panetta was “too cowardly to fight me.”

“…as soon as I started turning his back on me he started making monkey gestures at me so I slapped him in the face multiple times and he rolled over like the coward he is,” Jordan Subban tweeted.

The ECHL is investigating the incident and is planning a hearing as a result of Panetta’s actions during the game. The results of this hearing will likely determine the length of time Panetta will be suspended from the ECHL.


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