The American Hockey League (AHL) has suspended Rochester Americans forward Ben Holmstrom for using homophobic language. According to The Hockey News,
“The incident occurred at the end of the first period of Rochester’s game versus the Utica Comets on March 30th, when Holmstrom appeared to engage in an altercation with Comets forward Chase De Leo. Holmstrom would be issued a game misconduct by the officials as a result of the incident, which was later determined to be when he used homophobic language.”
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. https://t.co/SGJUTHAS7v
— ashTley 🌻 (@Smasha23) April 6, 2022
The AHL released a statement on Wednesday saying,
“As part of the suspension, Holmstrom will be participating in diversity and inclusion education. 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.”
Great to see the AHL hanging out a hefty suspension on the back of this. Making it approachable,and ordinary, as a punishable offense is a big step https://t.co/PgFAgqpFSv
— Gabe Foley (@NHLFoley) April 6, 2022
AHL has taken action like this before. Earlier this year, “San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik was issued a 30-game suspension for directing a racial gesture at Tuscon Roadrunners forward Boko Imama during a game.” In 2020 Bakersfield Condor player Brandon Manning was suspended for five games for using a racial slur aimed again, at Imma.
The last time this happened to Boko Imama (Brandon Manning used a racial slur in 2020), the AHL suspension was 5 games — so 30 games is an improvement. https://t.co/0PoOwYXVFO
— Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) January 21, 2022
Holmstrom will be eligible to play again on April 30th when the Rochester Americans take on the Hartford Wolf Pack.