Toronto, Ont. – In response to the hateful, racist actions directed toward OHL alumnus Jalen Smereck in Ukraine’s top professional hockey league this past weekend, Ontario Hockey League Commissioner David Branch has issued the following statement:
“The Ontario Hockey League condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the racist gesture that was directed toward Jalen Smereck, an accomplished young man who persevered as a 15th round OHL Priority Selection choice to play three seasons in our League and sign an NHL contract with the Arizona Coyotes. Just 24-years-old with a bright future ahead of him, Jalen is also a valued member of the OHL’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee headed by the League’s Director of Cultural Diversity and Inclusion, Rico Phillips. The OHL stands with Jalen, whose input and contributions continue to make our League a more welcoming and accepting place for everyone, regardless of who they are. Racism has no place in our great game, and the OHL remains committed to eradicating it.”
About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.