African-American Jalen Smereck has left the Ukrainian hockey club Donbass, following the racist scandal that occurred at the end of September when Kremenchuk striker Andrei Deniskin was caught taunting him, imitating as if he were peeling and then eating a banana.
“The Donetsk club and the 24-year-old American have terminated the current contract by mutual agreement of the parts”, communicated this Sunday the team, for which Smereck played since last August.
Hockey club “Donbass” strongly denies all forms of discrimination and is outraged by the behavior of Andrei Deniskin. Donetsk club rejects any racist manifestations – racism has no place either on sports grounds or outside of them 😠 pic.twitter.com/FhfXgw45Cu
— HC Donbass (@hcdonbass) September 26, 2021
Although the Ukrainian Hockey League declared that such an attitude by Deniskin was “unacceptable in a civilized society” and sanctioned with 3 matches, the American public on September 28 on his Facebook account that will not “play another game in the Ukrainian Hockey League until Andrei Deniskin is suspended and removed from the league. “
For his part, Deniskin himself expressed at that time on his Instagram account, which is currently not available, an apology to Smereck, but insisted that he did not want to discriminate against anyone. “I, being in a negative emotion, made a gesture that someone could consider as a racial insult. I respect all people, regardless of their race or nationality. Unfortunately, in hockey there are all kinds of emotions,” he wrote.
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