Player banned for criticizing Hockey PEI’s response to racism

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A Prince Edward Island junior hockey player who lambasted league officials on Facebook for responding to a racial slur has been suspended indefinitely. (Getty)

A Prince Edward Island Junior B hockey player has been suspended indefinitely after criticizing league officials on Facebook for handling a racist incident in the game.

In the January 5 post, 20 years old Keegan Mitchell criticized Hockey PEI’s response, claiming the assailant, who received a two-game suspension, deserved a much harsher sentence for hurling an anti-Asian insult at one of his teammates.

“For those of you who know me personally or through hockey, I’m almost absolutely certain you recognize me as someone who always stands up for himself, but more importantly to my friends and teammates,” Mitchell wrote.

Mitchell said he received the exact same penalty for a slash appeal in that same game.

“If Hockey PEI took these scenarios as seriously as they claim, this player would have been properly suspended,” he wrote. “So my question is when will Hockey PEI start to be considered for an appropriate sanction? A 2-game suspension for a racist insult is absolutely disgraceful. Finally, Hockey PEI, when are you going to wake up and realize that this pitiful suspension makes our whole community look racist?

The anti-Asian incident happened in mid-December during a game between the Kensington Vipers and Sherwood Metros, according to the CBC. After a written complaint from the victim, the offender, a 19-year-old Vipers member, was suspended for two games for his actions.

Mitchell on Thursday shared a letter he received from the province’s hockey governing body, advising him of the suspension for “violating league policy on social media by publicly criticizing officials and Hockey PEI. “

The letter, sent by Hockey PEI’s Discipline and Ethics Committee chair Mike Hammill, states in part that the committee found Mitchell “a member not in good standing,” meaning he is “on hold. activities sanctioned by the governing body of hockey. in the province, ” according to The Canadian Press.

Mitchell can now appeal his suspension and says he plans to do so while adding that he also intends to stay vocal about the incident and racism in hockey in general.

“I’m not just going to let this go,” he said. “If I never play hockey again, that’s fine with me, because I’m going to fight until it’s fair.”

Hockey PEI did not respond to a request for comment on Friday, according to CP.

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