(WXYZ) — Michigan State men's hockey player Jagger Joshua is speaking out, saying he was targeted with racial slurs during the Spartans' game against Ohio State earlier this month.
Joshua, a senior from Dearborn, said one of the Buckeyes' players called him a racial slur multiple times on the ice, and that an official gave him a game misconduct.
A review of the box score for the game against Ohio State on Nov. 11 shows that an Ohio State player was given a game misconduct at 10:39 in the second period.
"Acts of racism do not belong in hockey, as they can discourage African Americans and minorities like myself from playing and loving the game," Joshua said in a statement posted on Twitter. "Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue."
Acts of racism do not belong in hockey.. pic.twitter.com/nm9AnIjSgV— Jagger Joshua (@jaggerjoshua8) November 21, 2022
Joshua also called out the Big Ten and Ohio State, saying that while the conference investigated, no public action has been taken by either the Big Ten or OSU.
"The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within the hockey culture," he wrote. "The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game, and I feel that I need ot make people aware that this incident occurred, because without acknowledgment, the problem gets worse."
A spokesperson for the Ohio State Department of Athletics said the university worked with the Big Ten to come to a resolution in response to the allegations.
"Ohio State is focused on providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all. The department is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all. Our Buckeye Inclusion committee has done an outstanding job with providing education and awareness across our department, both for students and staff. We are committed to recognizing our remarkable diversity and utilizing our core values to ensure everyone attending or participating in an athletic event feels safe and welcome," the spokesperson said.
The Big Ten released a statement saying that they reviewed video footage and information from both universities and the officiating crew, and said the conference supported the decision to levy a game misconduct penalty.
"Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action," the conference said in a statement. "The conference is dedicated to listening and learning from our student-athletes, and our Equality Coalition. We will continue to work together to constructively and collectively create inclusive, empowering and accountability resources for our member institutions."
Statistics show the player who received the game misconduct penalty did play in the next two games for Ohio State.
MSU Athletic Director Alan Haller and men's hockey Head Coach Adam Nightingale both released statements supporting Joshua.
"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."
"At Michigan State, we are committed to a safe and welcoming space for our student-athletes. It is important to me that all student athletes feel comfortable and supported in our locker room and in our program. I am proud to have Jagger Joshua on our team," Nightingale said.