Brandon Manning suspended five games for using racial slur

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The American Hockey League has suspended Bakersfield Condors defenceman Brandon Manning five games for using a racial slur against Ontario Reign left-wing Bokondji Imama.

The AHL made the announcement Tuesday, a day after Manning and Imama were involved in an altercation during Ontario's 3-0 win over the visiting Condors. The Condors are the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers, while the Reign are the affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.

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Manning, a 29-year-old from Prince George, B.C., was assessed a game misconduct and a roughing minor at 5:57 of the second period. The league confirmed Tuesday the misconduct was for using a racial slur towards an opponent.

Imama, who was born in Montreal to parents who immigrated from Democratic Republic of Congo, was given a roughing minor during the same incident.

Manning apologized in a statement.

"Last night I made comments to an opposing player that were stupid and offensive. After the game, I spoke with the opposing player in person, which I'm very grateful for," Manning said.

"He allowed me to apologize and I took full responsibility for what I said. To say I've learned from this situation is an understatement and I promise to be better."

Condors general manager Keith Gretzky said Manning's words were unacceptable.

"This is a very serious matter, we are disappointed by Brandon's comment and we fully support the American Hockey League's decision," Gretzky said.

"The Oilers and Condors organizations wholeheartedly believe in a respectful workplace and will work to better educate our players on appropriate conduct on and off the ice."

Manning will miss Bakersfield's games Wednesday versus San Jose, Friday at Tucson, Saturday at Tucson, Jan. 31 versus Ontario and Feb. 1 at Stockton.

He will be eligible to return Feb. 5 against visiting Tucson.

Manning has appeared in 10 games with the Condors this season and has four assists in 10 games. He has a goal in nine games with Edmonton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020.

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