Chicago Blackhawks star forward Artemi Panarin apologized Tuesday for a racially insensitive remark he made in a 2012 Russian television interview when he was playing in the Kontinental Hockey League.
The Chicago Tribune, The Athletic, and other outlets reported that Panarin, the National Hockey League’s rookie of the year last season, participated in an interview segment in 2012 with former KHL teammate Yaroslav Tulyakov, who asked him what he would never do, three sources who saw the video told The Tribune.
“Have sex with a black woman,” Panarin replied, the three Russian-speaking sources told the newspaper.
The existence of the video, which has been removed from YouTube, was first reported by a Chicago hockey blog called Faxes From Uncle Dale.
The Tribune reported that Panarin’s remark occurred during a segment in which he and Tulyakov appeared to trying to be humorous, making off-color remarks as they read questions.
Panarin issued a statement to the Tribune through the Blackhawks Tuesday, saying “In 2012, I was a guest on a Russian TV show and made insensitive comments that I deeply regret…I understand my comments are offensive and I apologize for my hurtful words.”
The team also issued its own statement: “On Sunday, we were made aware of the video of Artemi’s appearance on a Russian TV show in 2012…We immediately addressed the matter with him. His comments in the video in no way represent the values of our organization. He has apologized and understands the offensive nature of his words.”
Panarin, 25, has 20 goals and 38 asssts in 65 games for the Blackhawks this season.