HOCKEY

Ohio State Hockey fails its chance to make a statement on racial slur accusation

I’ve had a few accomplishments over my life of which I am proud. One of them was being awarded a doctorate in veterinary pathology from the School of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University.

I enjoyed my years at OSU as a student and postdoc. I left for a few years, and returned as a research scientist working in AIDS vaccines and pathology.

Terrific campus, great classmates, faculty advisors, and colleagues.

So, it was with great disappointment that I read William Douglas’ (@WDouglasNHL) piece on NHL.com this morning. Click here for the link.

The brother of the Vancouver Canucks’ Dakota Joshua plays for the Michigan State Spartans.

Jagger Joshua, 23, was verbally assaulted by an Ohio State University player, with racial slurs during a game on 11 November.

“There’s no room for that in this game and in life in general,” Dakota said following Vancouver’s 5-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. “It’s a terrible situation to be a part of. But his goal is to put it out there so people can learn from it and hope it doesn’t happen again.

“You would like to think we’ve come a long way, especially over recent years, but obviously (this) still keeps happening,” said Dakota, who played for Ohio State from 2015-19. “So until it’s non-existent, I don’t think it’s surprising.”

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The Ohio State University had no reaction to the incident before the evening on 21 November.

“The inaction has left me feeling confused and pessimistic about the movement of diversity within hockey culture,” Jagger said. “The ignorance of racism does not belong in our game, and I feel that I need to make people aware that this incident occurred because without acknowledgement, the problem gets worse.”

Ohio State issued a tepid statement last night.

“The Ohio State Department of Athletics 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. Ohio State is focused 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. 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.”

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I lived, worked, and breathed my academic career at OSU, as well as part of my professional life, a total of eight years over a 10-year period. Across the eight years, I cannot recall this type of assault. And don’t be fooled, this IS assault.

I left OSU for the last time in 1993, in nearly 30 years we as a society have regressed to the point of a major academic institution turning a blind eye to the accusation, perhaps hoping it will blow over.

How many more such incidents need to occur before someone stands up and says “Enough is enough”?

This has been discussed on these pages previously, hockey has a problem with abuse, bullying, and racism. And no manner of sweeping under a lumpy rug will end it. Meeting this head on, and proactively taking a stance is the only way to start to end this.

I am not disappointed by the OSU response. I am beyond angry. It is a betrayal of the standards for any institution, or organization, to be as tepid and spineless as OSU was.Image

It’s the 21st century, you are better than this, or at least I thought so. Keep up the tepid responses and you will slide back to being a cow college.

To quote Dakota again, “There’s no room for that in this game and in life in general.”



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