‘Fired for speaking about racism in Ukraine’: Hockey official departs in row over player who mocked black star with banana gesture
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.
Хоккейный клуб «Донбасс» резко отрицает все формы дискриминации и возмущен поведением Андрея Денискина. Донецкий клуб отвергает любые расистские проявления - расизму не место ни на спортивных площадках, ни за их пределами 😠 pic.twitter.com/FhfXgw45Cu— HC Donbass (@hcdonbass) September 26, 2021
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.
One of those people was Kolychev, who disagreed with the punishment handed out and in another Twitter post claimed his “voice had been ignored.”
My voice has been ignored in the decision over the penalty against Andrei Deniskin, who showed a racist gesture to @jalen_smereck I am publicly appealing to the @IIHFHockey to conduct its own investigation of the incident and help #endracism. Jalen, we got your back!— Eugene Kolychev (@EvgeniyKolychev) September 30, 2021
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)