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AHL Suspends Ben Holmstrom for Using Homophobic Language

The AHL has suspended Rochester Americans forward Ben Holmstrom for eight games for using homophobic language.
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The AHL announced on Wednesday that the league has suspended Rochester Americans forward Ben Holmstrom for eight games for the use of homophobic language. 

The incident occurred at the end of the first period of Rochester's game versus the Utica Comets on March 30th, when Holmstrom appeared to engage in an altercation with Comets forward Chase De Leo. Holmstrom would be issued a game misconduct by the officials as a result of the incident, which was later determined to be when he used homophobic language. 

"As part of the suspension, Holmstrom will be participating in diversity and inclusion education," said the AHL in a statement on Wednesday. 

"The American Hockey League is committed to building a culture that is safe, inclusive, and free from abuse, harassment, and all forms of unethical behavior or misconduct."

This is not the first time the AHL has suspended a player for using hateful language towards an opponent this season. 

On Jan. 22, San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik was issued a 30-game suspension for directing a racial gesture at Tuscon Roadrunners forward Boko Imama during a game. Imama, a black man, has been on the receiving end of racist attacks on numerous occasions in his AHL career, shedding light on a serious problem that is ingrained within the NHL's primary feeder league. 

As per the league's statement, Holmstrom has already served two games of his eight-game suspension and will be eligible to return to the Americans' lineup on April 30 when they take on the Hartford Wolf Pack. 

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