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Bruins cut ties with prospect Mitchell Miller for bullying black classmate

The Boston Bruins decided Sunday to withdraw a contract offer from prospective Mitchell Miller, who was waived the draft by the state of Arizona for bullying a black classmate with autism in middle school.

The team signed Miller to an entry-level deal on Friday, prompting criticism from the player, with comments from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman saying the 20-year-old Miller is currently ineligible to play in the league.

Team principal Cam Neely said in a statement that the Bruins believe Miller’s bullying of Isiah Meyer-Crowthers was an isolated incident that has changed direction based on new information.

“Thanks to our fans, players, staff, partners and community, we have a duty to ensure that our practices and protocols are in line with the spirit we demand of ourselves and as an organization,” Neely said. We will reevaluate our internal processes for screening individuals who wish to earn the privilege of playing in the Bruins’ National Hockey League.”

Earlier on Sunday, agent Eustace King released a statement saying O2K Sports Management participated in serious deliberations before deciding to represent Miller, and defense counsel worked with the organization to King did not immediately respond to a message Sunday night seeking comment on the Bruins’ decision.

Boston, which chose to sign Miller, was not well received by its players, including captain Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron said he was “in doubt” when consulted about the possibility.

“The culture we’ve built here is against that kind of behavior,” Bergeron said. “This locker room is all about inclusion, diversity and respect.”

Boston forward Nick Foligno called the signing “hard to swallow.”

“It’s hard for our group to hear,” he said. “I’m not going to lie to you. I don’t think anyone was happy.”

The Coyotes picked Miller in the fourth round of the 2020 draft despite knowing about his 2016 assault conviction. The team parted ways with Miller amid criticism after learning more about the bullying.

The University of North Dakota announced the following day that Miller was no longer on the school’s hockey team.

When Miller was 14, he pleaded guilty to one count of assault and one count of violating the Ohio Safety Schools Act. He and another teenager were accused of feeding Meyer-Crothers candy push pops after wiping them in a toilet urinal, and surveillance video showed them kicking and punching him. showed.

Meyer-Crothers’ mother, Joni, told Arizona Republic that Miller began bullying his son when he was in second grade and used racist language.

Miller has sent letters to all 31 NHL teams, acknowledging what happened and apologizing for his actions. He said he never apologized personally other than in a letter.

“During eighth grade, I made some very poor decisions and acted very immaturely,” Miller said in a statement. “I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regretted this incident and apologized to that person. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the far-reaching consequences of my actions. Nearly seven years ago I could neither recognize nor understand.”

After missing the 2020-21 season, Miller finished the 2021-22 season with 44 assists and 39 goals for Tri-City in the USHL. He was named the USHL’s Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year after setting league records for goals and points by defense.

“We regret that this decision has overshadowed the great work members of our organization are doing to support diversity and inclusion efforts,” said Neely. He apologized to Zu and his family and said the team is against bullying and racism. Be careful and embrace the group mentality of hurting others, the repercussions can last a lifetime.”

Bruins cut ties with prospect Mitchell Miller for bullying black classmate

Source link Bruins cut ties with prospect Mitchell Miller for bullying black classmate

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