thin ice

AHL suspends player for homophobia in the rink

The American Hockey League (AHL) has suspended Rochester Americans forward Ben Holmstrom for eight games for using homophobic language.

During the first period of Rochester’s game against the Utica Comets on March 30th, Holmstrom engaged in an altercation with Comets forward Chase De Leo and used a homophobic slur. Holmstrom was given a game misconduct by officials, and upon further review he was issued the suspension.

“As part of the suspension, Holmstrom will be participating in diversity and inclusion education,” said the AHL in a statement on Wednesday.

“The American Hockey League is committed to building a culture that is safe, inclusive, and free from abuse, harassment, and all forms of unethical behavior or misconduct.”

Some commended the move, like this Twitter user who wrote: “Glad to see the AHL taking this seriously. A multi game suspension is appropriate and sets a standard in the league.

“Hell of a way for Holmstrom to act during a professional tryout.”

Others noted that the 8-game suspension seemed mild compared to the 30-game suspension San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik received earlier this year for directing a racial gesture at Tuscon Roadrunners forward Boko Imama during a game.

“Hrabik got 30 games for a racist gesture. Holmstrom gets 8 games for a homophobic slur,” wrote another hockey fan on Twitter. “Not exactly holding everyone to the same standard, are we? To be clear, Holmstrom should not be getting a significantly lighter suspension here.”

Holmstrom has will be eligible to return to the rink on April 30.