Krys Barch of the Florida Panthers was given a game misconduct against the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday for what a linesman later revealed was a racial slur he heard Barch use against P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens.
On Thursday, Barch was suspended for one game by the National Hockey League. Not for, as was first inferred, dropping an N-bomb or ridiculing Subban's heritage, whose parents are from Jamaica.
Instead, Barch was suspended for making a reference to "slipping on a banana peel" after Subban tumbled to the ice in an altercation with Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, multiple sources confirmed to Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.
And with that, "racism" becomes a matter of context.
According to Harvey Flalkov of the Sun-Sentinel, Barch said he would have received up to a seven-game suspension from the NHL had his comment been a racial slur. He also called Subban on Sunday and explained his comment, saying that Subban "understood where he was coming from."