JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville Icemen Jacob Panetta took to social media on Sunday to respond to accusations that resulted in him being officially released by the team and indefinitely suspended by the ECHL.
The 26-year-old defenseman from Ontario was accused of making “monkey gestures” towards South Carolina Stingrays forward Jordan Subban during the overtime period of Saturday night’s contest at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena.
In the three-minute apology posted to Instagram, Panetta said he was doing a “tough guy bodybuilder” gesture towards Subban. Panetta added that he has made the same gesture towards other players in on-ice confrontations.
“My actions towards Jordan were not because of race and were not intended to be a racial gesture. I did not contemplate at the time that it would be perceived by some as a racial gesture,” he said.
Panetta added that no slurs or noises were said by him during the incident.
“I see now by Jordan’s reaction that he and others certainly viewed it as a racial gesture and that my actions have caused a great deal of anger and upset to Jordan, his family, and countless others,” Panetta said.
Jordan Subban made the accusation when he responded to a tweet from the Icemen account that said a rough fight resulted in multiple penalties on both sides. According to Jordan Subban, Panetta “was too much of a coward to fight me.”
More like @JPanetta12 was too much of a coward to fight me and as soon as I began to turn my back he started making monkey gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is. There fixed it 👍🏾 https://t.co/JtPqpN9wwE— Jordan Subban (@jordansubban) January 23, 2022
“...as soon as I began to turn my back he started making monkey gestures at me so I punched him in the face multiple times and he turtled like the coward he is,” Jordan Subban tweeted.
The ECHL is investigating the incident and plans to hold a hearing as a result of Panetta’s actions during the game. The results of that hearing will likely determine the length of time Panetta will be suspended from the ECHL.
This is the video under review by the ECHL. Showing the incident between Jacob Panetta and Jordan Subban. Subban said Panetta made a "monkey gesture" towards him. Panetta said it was a "tough guy body builder gesture." @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/luAFVObRS2— Kyle Ashley (@WJXT4KyleAshley) January 24, 2022