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Boko Imama and Roadrunners Hockey tackle racism with teamwork, slogans, and T-shirts

Campaign supports Hockey Diversity Alliance
Posted: 3:24 PM, Apr 04, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-04 21:38:01-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It's been more than two months since Roadrunners forward Boko Imama felt the barbs of racism on the ice. During a game in January, in San Jose, Krystof Hrabik made a monkey like gesture towards Imama.

Imama did not notice the gesture, but several of his teammates did.

Hrabik was suspended thirty games by the American Hockey League for making the racist gesture.

For Imama, it wasn't the first incident.

"Throughout my career, it's been happening to me. I want to say, almost every year." ~Boko Imama

Imama was also the vitim of a racial slur by Brannond Manning two years ago while playing for Ontario. Manning was suspended five games. When he came back, Imama got his revenge in on-ice fight during a game.

"I can go on and fight as many people as I want. It's not going to change anything." ~Boko Imama

So this time, Imama has gone with a different approach. He and the Roadrunners have launched a campaign with T-shirts that say "Enough is Enough" on one side and "All for All" on the other side.

Professional Hockey is 97% white. Two years ago, the Hockey Diversity Alliance was formed, and it aims to prevent racism in the sport. The proceeds of Boko's T-shirts go towards that cause.

Through the T-shirts, Boko and the team hope to raise awareness, bring the community together and raise funds for a great cause that Boko says will help younger generations.

T-Shirts can be purchased at tucsonroadrunners.com/HDA

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Jason Barr is a sports anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Since arriving in Tucson, Jason's stories have won KGUN four prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for sports reporting. He has also won two Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for sports reporting. Jason has covered the College World Series, the NCAA Final Four, the Super Bowl, and numerous southern Arizona community sports stories. Share your story ideas with Jason by emailing jason.barr@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.