PuckDaddy- Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin has apologized for comments he made in a KHL video that resurfaced this week, in which he joked that he could never “have sex with a black woman.”
The video, shot in 2012 and recently removed from YouTube, was a segment from a Russian TV show that featured then-teammates Yaroslav Tulyakov and Panarin asking each other jokey questions.
According to those that have seen the video, Tulyakov asks Panarin “what could you never do?” Panarin responds with “have sex with a black woman.” The players laugh, and then Panarin answers a second time with “I would never walk at night.”
The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine reached out to the Blackhawks and Panarin, and both distanced themselves from the comments.
“In 2012, I was a guest on a Russian TV show and made insensitive comments that I deeply regret,” Panarin said in a statement the Blackhawks released to the Tribune. “I understand my comments are offensive and I apologize for my hurtful words.”
The Hawks said in a statement they spoke with Panarin about the video. “On Sunday, we were made aware of the video from Artemi’s appearance on a Russian TV show in 2012,” the team said. “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.”
As much as I would like to believe that this comment would be better served by the context presented in a now-deleted video, I am most definitely not going to go out on a limb on behalf of a then 20 year old whose homeland is historically intolerant. Maybe the root of this retort was racism, maybe it wasn't. Either way, he did what he absolutely had to do by apologizing for it.
However, if we push the potential prejudice that was possibly responsible for that one-liner to the side can we at least admit that it's not completely false? Regardless of whether or not Artemi Panarin used to instinctively cross the street every time he saw an African American, I think we can all see the inherent humor in this guy joining one in the sac...
Let's just look at the facts here. As of this very second, Panirin weighs a 170 pounds and - despite being an uber talented athlete - looks like a sickly Russian boy when the pads come off. Can you imagine how frail he must have been FIVE years ago when this interview took place? It's possible what he meant was that he would never have sex with a black girl, but what he actually said was that he can never have sex with a black girl and - given his physical frame and surrounding environment at the time - I'm not so sure he was completely off base for coming to that conclusion.
I think the biggest lesson to be learned here is that, shockingly, black jokes don't exactly have the smoothest of transitions when they come from the mouthes of Eastern Europeans. That doesn't mean it's okay to assume that every dark-skinned woman is packing paralyzing curves and dick-wrecking thickness, but it does mean that most black chicks would overwhelm the shit out a sub-6 foot, 150 pound Russian that's used to sleeping with rail thin model types named Angelica. Much like every commonly referenced stereotype, every good joke has at least a hint of truth so - even if this one was intended to be offensive - it can still be read as self deprecating. Discriminatory or not, it required Artemi Panarin to admit that he was kind of a little bitch in the bedroom. I suppose it's safer not to give Russian hockey players the benefit of the doubt in situations like this, but at least this Russian hockey player had his American generalizations down pat before he arrived in the states.