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Update: Michigan State Player Alleges Opponent Called Him a Racist Slur

Michigan State hockey player Jagger Joshua said an Ohio State player called him a racist slur multiple times during a game on Nov. 11.
Jagger Joshua

Jagger Joshua.

Update: Ohio State Athletics said it and the men's hockey program "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."

This comes after Big Ten released a statement saying it hasn't imposed any disciplinary action on the Ohio State player who allegedly called Michigan State defenseman Jagger Joshua a racist slur multiple times. The original story including Joshua's statement is below.

The Big Ten Conference office evaluated information from the officiating crew, Ohio State, Michigan State and video footage from the game on Nov. 11, when the Ohio State player received a game misconduct, said the statement.

"The conference supports the decision by the official to levy a game misconduct penalty on OSU," the statement said, shared on Twitter by Todd Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal. "Due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action."

The Big Ten conference also said it's committed to providing inclusive environments free of harassment or discrimination to its student-athletes and is dedicated to learning from them and its Equality Coalition.

Ohio State's statement did not explain more about how it worked with Big Ten to come to a resolution for the incident, but it also explained its focus on "providing an inclusive and supportive 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," the statement said. "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."

Allegations of racism have surfaced in the NCAA from Michigan State forward Jagger Joshua.

Joshua released a statement on social media stating he faced an Ohio State player calling him "a racial slur multiple times" during their Nov. 11 men’s hockey game. The Ohio State player was assessed a game misconduct, but according to Joshua, the Big Ten Conference and Ohio State have taken “no further public action.”

“Acts of racism do not belong in hockey, as they discourage African Americans and minorities like myself from playing and loving the game,” said Joshua in his statement. “Inaction in the face of racist comments and actions allow these behaviors to continue.”

The Dearborn, Mich. product’s reference to inaction was directed at the Big Ten and Ohio State following an investigation Joshua says was conducted related to the incident.

“The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture. The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game,” he continued.

Michigan State released statements in support of Jagger Joshua on Monday night.

“Michigan State Athletics stands with Jagger Joshua, and commends him for having the courage to speak up against racial injustice,” wrote Michigan State vice president and director of athletics, Alan Haller. “As a department, we are committed to providing opportunities for all student-athletes to compete in a space free from discrimination, racism or hate.”

Joshua is in his fourth year with the Spartans scoring 11 points in his first 14 games this season.

His brother Dakota Joshua currently plays for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and is an Ohio State alumni.

Anti-racism initiatives within leagues across North America and from organizations such as Black Girl Hockey Club and the Hockey Diversity Alliance have been working to create safe places, free from racism, in the sport for athletes of color. 

Michigan State coach Adam Nightingale said he believes it is his program’s responsibility to provide that space to athletes, including Joshua Jagger.

“At Michigan State, we are committed to a safe and welcoming space for our student-athletes,” wrote Nightingale. “It is important to me that all student-athletes feel comfortable and supported in our locker room and in our program.”


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