IIHF condemns racist gesture directed at Black player in Ukraine
The IIHF decried a racist gesture made by a white player toward a Black one in the Ukrainian Hockey League over the weekend.
On Sunday, HK Kremenchuk forward Andri Denyskin mimed peeling and eating a banana in the direction of HC Donbass defenseman Jalen Smereck.
"The IIHF condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of Andri Denyskin," the international governing body of hockey said Monday in a statement. "There is no place for such a blatantly racist and unsportsmanlike gesture in our sport and in society."
"This a direct assault on the ideals and values of our game, and we will ensure that all necessary ethics violation investigations occur to ensure that this behaviour is sanctioned appropriately," the IIHF added.
UHL general manager Eugene Kolychev committed to monitoring the probe, which the Ukrainian hockey federation will oversee.
Smereck, a 24-year-old Detroit-born rearguard, is playing in Ukraine after spending parts of five seasons in the AHL and ECHL.