The AHL has suspended San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik for 30 games for directing a racial gesture towards Boko Imama of the Tucson Roadrunners during a game on Jan. 12.
According to an official AHL press release, Hrabik has already served three games of this suspension and will be eligible to return to the Barracuda's lineup on Apr. 3.
“The AHL stands with Boko Imama,” stated AHL President Scott Howson.
“It is unfair that any player should be subjected to comments or gestures based on their race; they should be judged only on their ability to perform as a player on the ice, as a teammate in the locker room, and as a member of their community.”
This is unfortunately not the first time Imama has been subjected to vile racial abuse in the AHL.
In January of 2020, then-Bakersfield Condors defender Brandon Manning directed a racial slur towards Imama, who was with the Ontario Reign at the time, in the second period of a game between the two teams, eventually earning him a five-game suspension.
The AHL has clearly altered how it disciplines racially-motivated attacks on its players in the years since that incident occurred. And yet, Imama still finds himself being targeted for no reason other than his race.
As per the AHL's new guidelines, Hrabik will now be given the opportunity to work with the NHL's Player Inclusion Committee as his suspension unfolds and participate in education and training on racism and inclusion. In the event that he accepts this invitation, Hrabik can then appeal to Howson for a reduction to his suspension after Mar. 12, with the decision being made based on Hrabik's progress with the committee.