COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Michigan State men’s hockey player is expressing his disapproval after saying an Ohio State player repeatedly directed a racial slur toward him and then learning the player is not facing further discipline by the university or the Big Ten.
Jagger Joshua, a forward for the Spartans who is Black, wrote on Twitter on Monday night that an Ohio State player, whom he did not name, called him a racial slur multiple times during a game on Nov. 11 in East Lansing, Michigan. Joshua wrote that one of the officials heard the slur and ejected the Ohio State player.
The Big Ten investigated but ruled against further action against the Ohio State player because of a lack of evidence. The game summary shows an Ohio State player receiving a 10-minute game misconduct penalty during the second period, which results in ejection. NBC4 is not naming the player at this time.
“The inaction [of further discipline] has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture,” Joshua wrote. “The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game. I feel that I need to make people aware that this incident occurred, because without acknowledgement, the problem gets worse.”
The Big Ten said in a statement Tuesday that it evaluated video and information from both teams and the officiating crew and that it supported the decision to eject the Ohio State player.
“Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action,” the statement read.
The ejected player, a senior, has continued to appear in Ohio State games since then, and he also overlapped on the roster for one season with Dakota Joshua, Jagger’s older brother, who’s now playing in the NHL.
Ohio State acknowledged the incident and that it cooperated with the Big Ten’s investigation. Neither it nor the Big Ten in their statements named the accused Ohio State player or refuted any of the details in Joshua’s account. Both emphasized their efforts to create inclusive environments.
“Ohio State … worked collaboratively with the Big Ten Conference to come to a resolution in response to the allegation of misconduct toward the Big Ten sportsmanship policy,” a statement read. “Ohio State is focused on providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all.”
Joshua received support for speaking out from Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller and from coach Adam Nightingale in a separate social media post.
“Michigan State Athletics stands with Jagger Joshua, and commends him for having the courage to speak up against racial injustice,” Haller wrote. “As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student-athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism or hate.”
The Buckeyes (8-5-1), who lost that game 4-3 to the Spartans, are ranked No. 12 in the USCHO.com rankings. Their next game is Friday against Long Island University in East Meadow, New York.