The Boston Bruins released Mitchell Miller just two days after signing him after receiving backlash from their own players and fans due to Miller’s racial bullying of a Black former classmate.
Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, who has developmental disabilities, was forced to eat a lollipop that was wiped in a urinal by Miller, who called him a “brownie” and the n-word frequently.
In a statement he gave to the Hockey Diversity Alliance, he detailed his nightmarish experience with Miller.
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“I have been bullied since I was in 1st grade,” he wrote. “There were not many black kids at my school. I was called ‘brownie’ and ‘n—–.’ Kids said my black mom and dad didn’t love me that’s why I had white parents. Mitchell used to ask me to sit with him and then he and his friends would punch me in the head. This happened my whole time in school.
“When I went to junior high Mitchell would spit in my face and call me a N word. I stopped telling because they called me a snitch and I would get made fun of. I had to say I was ‘his n—– to sit at his table and he made me clean the whole table. He threw food in my face. I was called ’n—–‘ every day.
“The office would tell me to stay away from him because he wasn’t my friend. Once he got expelled from school, his friends started bullying me. He pretended to be my friend and made me do things I didn’t want to do. In junior high, I got beat up by him.
“Everyone thought he was cool, but I don’t see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life.”
Meyer-Crothers noted that Miller did recently apologize to him, and the apology “didn’t involve hockey.” However, he said that in the “middle of October” Miller had “texted [him] constantly every day till I answered a Snapchat and [Instagram] message” from Miller asking him “why I have parents doing stuff for me and why can’t I speak for myself.”
“I told him I don’t care what my parents say I’m old enough to speak for myself,” Meyer-Crothers wrote.
Meyer-Crothers said Miller told him “he was doing stuff in the community and helping the youth and wanted to be my friend.” But when Meyer-Crothers asked for proof of his service to the community, Miller was unable to provide any.
“All the lies I have been told from him for so many years I don’t believe what Mitchell told me,” Meyer-Crothers wrote. “He kept asking me to be his friend and that has changed over the years from what he did. I told him, ‘I’m not just gonna be your friend after all you did to me.'”
BRUINS CAPTAIN ‘ON THE FENCE’ ABOUT TEAM SIGNING PLAYER WHO RACIALLY ABUSED, ASSAULTED BLACK CLASSMATE
Meyer-Crothers says he is now being bullied on social media.
“I am now getting messages on social media from people, calling me ‘a slow, retarded assclown’ and ‘you stupid n—–,’ saying that ‘I need help.’”
Upon being signed by the Bruins, Miller said in a statement that he “made an extremely poor decision and acted very immaturely,” adding that he “deeply regret[s] the incident” and “strive[s] to be a better person.”
However, despite his public and private apologies, Meyer-Crothers is standing firm that Miller “isn’t my friend.”
“It hurts my heart what he did to me. So I just wanted to tell everyone – when Mitchell says we’re friends it isn’t true. I can’t take more of this.”
The Bruins did not reach out to the Meyer-Crothers family when they signed Miller, which “was concerning” to team president Cam Neely, who added that the team “failed” in their vetting process of Miller.
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“I’m disappointed that we’re in this position, we shouldn’t be in this position. We could’ve done a better job. We should’ve done a better job,” Neely said. “Again, I want to apologize on behalf of the Boston Bruins organization ,on behalf of myself. It was a decision we didn’t take lightly, and I’ll go back to the fact that I felt, based on everything I knew, he deserved a second chance.”
Miller pleaded guilty at the age of 14 to one count of assault and violating the Ohio Safe Schools Act. He is now currently a free agent, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he is “not eligible” to play in the league.