Family of ice hockey player Adam Johnson speak out as man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter
| Last updated
A family member of ice hockey player Adam Johnson has spoken out after a man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in relation to his death.
Adam's aunt Kari Johnson spoke to The Sun on the matter from her home in Minnesota.
She said: "We're just going to have to let it play out and see what happens.
"Whatever they'd decided, I would have had to live with it.
"But I'm just glad they are being diligent with doing what they're supposed to be doing."
They said the man 'remains in police custody' after the 29-year-old Nottingham Panthers player died on 28 October after being hitin the neck by the ice skate of an opponent during a match against the Sheffield Steelers.
Johnson was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead there.
South Yorkshire Police's Detective Chief Superintendent Rebecca Horsfall said: "Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive inquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.
“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our inquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.
“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Sheffield to ice hockey fans across the world.
“We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process.
“Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as inquiries continue.”
A coroner called on ice hockey's governing body to take action and push for more neck protection for players.
Sheffield’s senior coroner, Tanyka Rawden said she was 'sufficiently concerned that deaths may occur in the future if neck guards or protectors are not worn'.
The English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) has said that neck guards will become mandatory from 2024 onwards, but it cannot control the Elite Ice Hockey League where the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers compete.
The league said they would not be making neck guards mandatory but would 'strongly encourage' players to wear them.