Andrei Deniskin of HC Kremenchuk was ejected from a Ukrainian Hockey League game over the weekend after making a racist gesture toward a Black American opponent.
Deniskin made a motion of peeling a banana and eating it towards Donbass’ Jalen Smereck. Deniskin released an apology on Instagram but it was later deleted.
“Donbass Hockey club strongly denies all forms of discrimination and is outraged by the behavior of Andrei Deniskin.” Donbass said in a statement. “Racism has no place on sports grounds or outside of them.”
The IIHF has weighed in on the matter, but has not taken an action.
“The IIHF condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of Andri Denyskin,” new IIHF president Luc Tardif said. “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.”