FEATURE FROM THE MSUFCU COACHES SHOW ⬇️
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Racism in hockey is more common than one would hope.
Michigan State University’s very own Jagger Joshua experienced it first-hand during a Nov. 11 game.
It was a traumatic experience for the senior forward, but the past month has shown him that his community is ready to change.
In the second period of the series finale against the Ohio State Buckeyes, one of the officials heard OSU forward Kamil Sadlocha hurl a racial slur at Joshua.
According to Joshua, it was a heated game.
“I remember after one whistle I heard something in the distance, kind of didn’t really pay any attention to it,” Jagger recalled. “[I] skated to the bench and so on, and then the next period, I heard these slurs multiple times again.”
Joshua realized that the slurs were directed toward him. A referee overheard what was being said and decided to take action against Sadlocha.
The Buckeye was dismissed from the rest of the game, which is something that Joshua is “forever thankful for.”
The referee stepping up gave Joshua the confidence to reach out to the Big Ten about what happened.
“I was obviously hopeful and optimistic that something was gonna get done.,” Joshua said.
When Joshua learned that Sadlocha was still playing after he shared his experience with the Big Ten, he decided to say what happened publicly. That wasn’t Joshua’s first choice.
“My goal behind that was to bring light in the situation and to show that this doesn’t belong in hockey,” Joshua stated.
Joshua going public garnered an outpouring of support.
One of those supporters was Spartan hockey alumnus Anson Carter, who unfortunately had similar experiences in his time playing for the Green and White.
On Nov. 22, OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith publicly apologized to Joshua, saying that Sadlocha has been suspended indefinitely.
While the news was something Joshua was happy about, his focus now is on creating change in the world of hockey.
“You know, people make mistakes and I’m not perfect either,” said Joshua. “This could be just a life-learning lesson for all of us involved and everybody that is a part of it.”
Jagger even said he is open to sitting down and having a conversation with Sadlocha about the impact of his words.
The Spartan hopes that if his future children take a liking to the ice, they won’t experience the same things that he did.
“My main goal is just I want everybody to feel welcomed when they play hockey and not have to deal with negativity towards them playing or their skin color and really just enjoy the game and not have to worry about the outside and the outside world,” said Joshua.
To hear Joshua talk about what positions he hopes his kids would play, watch the video in the player above.