There are two different players in this story... Player A uses hate speech in a game and receives a 14-day suspension on his account, and his honor level is reduced to 1 and then locked. Player B trash talks and is reported for toxicity, but it isn't severe enough to receive anything more than a chat restriction, but his honor level is still reduced to 1 and then locked. Not only this, but Player B received this punishment 3 weeks before the season ends, and becomes unable to receive end of season rewards, even though he played with honor in every single game besides the one bad game. Player A received this punishment earlier in the season and had plenty of time to get his honor back up and receive end of season rewards, despite having a much worse offense. (And yes, hate speech is MUCH worse than regular trash talk.)
My point is this, Player B receives a much worse punishment in the long run for a lesser offense, due to the current system of player behavior being fundamentally broken. Time is a factor, and is not being considered here. Player Honor shouldn't just default to 1 after a punishment, it should be lowered based on the severity of the offense and punishment rendered. Currently being a little toxic later in the year is punished harder than being racist, sexist, transphobic, etc... earlier in the year.
Equality of punishment is a poor way to reform the player base. Players are punished according to their offense, though honor level reduction is by far the most punishing system Riot has in place to punish players at the moment. And currently, players with the smallest offenses are being affected the most relative to the offense. In this way, players are being taught that hate speech is considered a similar offense to merely trash talking. I believe this system needs updating, and players currently being effected by this oversight should still receive their rewards at the end of the season granted that they have played with honor. (Everybody has a bad game every now and then, and while some offense cannot be forgiven, if you are being punished more than a bigoted player for simply having a bad game, then the people in charge have a philosophical issue they need to work out, not you as the player.)
**You shouldn't be punished more than someone else just because you didn't have as much time as them to raise your honor level. **
What if instead the honor level reductions were compartmentalized down based on punishment rendered.
chat restriction: 2 honor levels taken away
suspension: 4 honor levels taken away
ban: ~~4 honor levels taken away and a lock put on your honor. (In case your account is unbanned in the future, this would allow the player to work through their reformation.)~~
edit: reduced to 0 and then locked. I agree with the comment that suggested this.
I know this isn't a perfect solution I listed, but its a start. Do you agree with me? Do you not? I'd love to see suggestions and critiques.
Have a good day,