Hockey Player Suspended for Making Racist Banana Gesture at Black Player

Ukrainian Hockey League player Andrei Deniskin was suspended for 13 games after making a racist gesture towards opposing player Jalen Smereck during their Sunday matchup.

Deniskin’s suspension comes a day after Smereck called for Deniskin to be banned and announced he will take a leave of absence from his team, HC Donbass.

“These situations are very tough and I am a big believer in standing up for what is right!” Smereck said in an Instagram post. “Therefore I have been putting a lot of thought into what comes next for me in my career but as of right now I have decided that I will be taking a personal leave of absence from HC Donbass and I will not play another game in the [Ukrainian Hockey League] until [Andrei] Deniskin is suspended and removed from the league. Thank you.”

During Sunday’s game between HC Donbass and HC Kremenchuk, Deniskin was kicked out of the match after making a racist gesture towards Smereck, who is African American. In the above clip, Deniskin is seen acting like he’s peeling a banana and eating it.

After Deniskin’s actions were condemned by the UHL’s general manager and HC Donbass, the hockey forward apologized in a since-deleted Instagram post and claimed his emotions got the best of him.

Andrei Deniskin has the option to buy out 10 games of his suspension after he sits out three games. The cost of the buyout is reportedly 50,000 Ukrainian hryvnias ($1,870).

Source: The Athletic

... More