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1 Oct, 2021 12:33

‘Fired for speaking about racism in Ukraine’: Hockey official departs in row over player who mocked black star with banana gesture

‘Fired for speaking about racism in Ukraine’: Hockey official departs in row over player who mocked black star with banana gesture

The general manager of the Ukrainian Hockey League (UHL) claims he was fired for speaking out against racism, after one star escaped with a three-game ban and a fine despite making a ‘banana-eating’ gesture to a black player.

In a tweet posted on Thursday, Evgeny Kolychev claimed that the Ukrainian Hockey Federation had dismissed him after he voiced his anger

Kolychev’s post read: “I have spoken openly about #racism in Ukrainian hockey and the Ukrainian Hockey Federation FIRED me as General Manager of the #UHL today. Will it solve the problem? No. Will it silence me? NO!”

The post comes on the back of the punishment handed out to Kremenchuk forward Andrei Deniskin following a racist gesture he made towards US hockey player Jalen Smereck, where Deniskin pretended to peel and eat a banana in front of Smereck.

Deniskin was handed a three-match ban but the Ukrainian has the right to pay off a further 10-game suspension, something which angered many people who though the punishment handed out was too soft.

READ MORE: Fury after Ukrainian hockey star gets 3-game ban for ‘banana-eating’ gesture at black rival & can pay off remaining suspension

One of those people was Kolychev, who disagreed with the punishment handed out and in another Twitter post claimed his “voice had been ignored.”

In the same post he also called for the International Ice Hockey Federation to launch their own investigation.

Donbass Donetsk star Smereck reacted to the news of Kolychev’s removal on Instagram with a post on his stories saying: “This makes me sick to my stomach I really can’t believe this!!!”

The popular hockey Twitter account World Hockey Report also responded to Kolychev’s post saying: “Until the @IIHFHockey gets some guts and stands up against the @UHLua nothing will change… but will the IIHF look out for their player’s best interests? Or what’s best for their wallet? This will be very telling.”

Also on rt.com ‘Unacceptable in a civilized society’: Ukraine star apologizes for racist ‘banana-eating’ gesture, faces disciplinary rap (VIDEO)