GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Michigan State hockey player has accused an Ohio State player of using racial slurs during a game against the Spartans.
MSU senior forward Jagger Joshua, who is Black, released a statement Monday night on social media claiming a Buckeye player used a racial slur multiple times during their Nov. 11 game at Munn Ice Arena. Jagger says the player was given a game misconduct penalty after one of the officials allegedly overheard one of the slurs.
Still, Joshua says he doesn’t understand why the Big Ten Conference or the Ohio State Department of Athletics haven’t taken further action.
“The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture,” Joshua stated. “The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game, and I feel that I need to make people aware that this incident occurred, because without acknowledgement, the problem gets worse.”
MSU athletic director Alan Haller and Spartans hockey head coach Adam Nightingale released statements in support of Joshua.
“Michigan State athletics stands with Jagger Joshua and commends him for having the courage to speak up against racial injustice,” Haller stated. “As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student-athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism or hate.”
Sadlocha joined the Buckeyes in 2018, overlapping one season with Jagger Joshua’s older brother Dakota, who played four seasons with the Buckeyes before going pro. Sadlocha played in both games last weekend against Notre Dame, recording no points or penalties in the two games.
The Ohio State Department of Athletics and the Big Ten both issued statements to The State News, MSU’s campus newspaper, but neither are posted to their respective websites or social media platforms.
“The conference office collected and evaluated information from the Big Ten Conference ice hockey officiating crew, The Ohio State University, Michigan State University and available video footage stemming from an incident involving ice hockey student-athletes from both member institutions at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on November 11, 2022. The conference supports the decision by the official to levy a game misconduct penalty on OSU. Due to the absence of indisputable evidence to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action,” the Big Ten statement read in part.
Joshua is from Dearborn, Michigan. He played two seasons for the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks before joining the MSU hockey program in 2019.