The Runner Sports

Artemi Panarin Offers Apology For Racially Insensitive Comment From 2012

Monday night, a video began floating around the internet of Russian-born Chicago Blackhawk Artemi Panarin making a racially charged, insensitive comment toward black women in a Russian TV interview from back in 2012.

Panarin, who signed with the Blackhawks in 2015, spent the prior five years playing in the KHL. In the interview, conducted with former KHL teammate Yaroslav Tulyakov, Panarin is asked a series of “get to know you” type questions by his former teammate. When Tulyakov asks Panarin, “What could you never do?” Panarin responds with “Have sex with a black woman.”

The racially charged comment was, according to the sources who unearthed and translated the video, meant as a joke. Despite this, it was an insensitive and uncalled for comment that paints a young Artemi Panarin in a bad light.

The Chicago Blackhawks, when learning of the video, spoke with Panarin, who offered an apology.

“In 2012, I was a guest on a Russian TV show and made insensitive comments that I deeply regret,” said Panarin in a statement released to the Chicago Tribune. He went on to say, “I understand my comments are offensive and I apologize for my hurtful words.”

The Blackhawks organization followed up the 25-year old’s apology with a statement of its own.

The team stated that “On Sunday, we were made aware of the video from 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, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract extension back at the end of December 2016, has played wonderful hockey for Chicago, but his words paint him in a poor light and he’ll need to do more to better his image than a simple apology. There’s nothing about what he said that is funny or appropriate to joke about and the hope is that he’ll learn from his mistake and be a better representative of the game of hockey.

Tyler Berry

Tyler Berry

Tyler is a digital marketing coordinator moonlighting as a sports writer. He is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Chicago White Sox fan, and has followed the Blackhawks even before Kane and Toews were drafted.
Tyler Berry