An old video featuring Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin put the Russian in an unsavory light and forced an apology
Late Sunday night, a video of Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin surfaced on YouTube from an interview with a Russian TV station in 2012. In that segment, Panarin and another teammate from the KHL are asking questions to one another in Russian, and one of the questions asked was, “What could you never do?”
In response to the question, Panarin jokingly responded, “Have sex with a black woman.” The video has since been removed from YouTube, but Panarin’s answer led to some outrage by fans and statements being released by both Panarin and the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Chicago Tribune spoke with multiple sources that speak Russian, and all of them said it appeared Panarin was attempting to make a joke with the statement, and that throughout the entire interview, there was a joking tone between the two players.
In a statement released to the Chicago Tribune, Panarin took full responsibility for his words and recognized his mistake.
“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.”
Additionally, the Blackhawks were made aware of Panarin’s comments and also released a statement to The Chicago Tribune.
“We immediately addressed the matter with him,” the statement read. “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.”
While the Blackhawks have typically been out of the spotlight when it comes to off-ice issues, this marks the third different issue in the last two years where a Blackhawks player has been in the news for something he has said or done.
After the ’Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2015, Patrick Kane was the subject of a sexual assault accusation in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. Kane was later cleared of all charges in that investigation. Since then, Kane has largely remained out of the public spotlight.
More recently, former Blackhawk Andrew Shaw was suspended for one game by the NHL after using a homophobic slur during Game 4 of a first-round playoff matchup against the Blues last year. Shaw was traded to the Canadiens during the offseason and was named an LGBTQ-inclusion ambassador for the NHL’s You Can Play project.
While the comments from Panarin are still fresh, the other two instances from Blackhawks players have resolved themselves, and both of the players seem to have learned and moved on from their mistakes.
All of this has taken place as the Chicago Blackhawks are in the midst of a four-day break before they begin the final stretch of the regular season. The team takes the ice again at home Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks.