Blackhawks’ Panarin apologizes for racially ‘insensitive comments’ from 2012


Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin apologized for racially “insensitive remarks” he made in a Russian TV interview from 2012, issuing a statement to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine.

“In 2012, I was a guest on a Russian TV show and made insensitive comments that I deeply regret,” Panarin said. “I understand my comments are offensive and I apologize for my hurtful words.”

The Blackhawks issued a statement to the Tribune, too, stating that they “immediately addressed the matter with him” and that his comments “in no way represent the values of our organization.”

Specifics about where/when the interview took place are a little fuzzy, though Panarin himself mentions that they came in 2012. The “insensitive comments” come around the 7:10 mark of this video, unearthed by Blackhawks blog Faxes from Uncle Dave:

Panarin appeared to make the joke in response to a question “What could you never do,” as Second City Hockey, Hine and others note.

There’s no mention of a specific reprimand (whether it be a fine or a suspension) for the 25-year-old forward. There is some precedent for teams disciplining players for making unacceptable comments, as you may remember with Garret Sparks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.