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Bruins captain ‘on the fence’ about staff signing participant who racially abused, assaulted Black classmate

The Boston Bruins signed defenseman Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract Friday, a transfer that introduced backlash from the general public and a few gamers inside the group.

Miller was discovered responsible in juvenile courtroom in 2016 for assaulting Isiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black pupil with developmental disabilities. 

Miller and one other teenager pressured Meyer-Crothers to eat a lollipop that had been wiped in a urinal, they usually additionally referred to as him the N-word and “brownie” ceaselessly.

Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron admitted he felt uneasy in regards to the staff’s choice to herald the 20-year-old.


“I used to be on the fence. I feel, as an individual, but additionally as a staff, I feel we stand for integrity and inclusion and variety, clearly,” Bergeron instructed SportsNet in Canada. “That was the very first thing that got here out of my mouth. It goes in opposition to what we’re as a tradition and as a staff and, for me, as an individual. I have been instructed currently that he is working arduous to make some modifications to hopefully make these unhealthy selections prior to now assist others to not do this, and, for me, I feel the work is on him.”

“The tradition we constructed right here goes in opposition to that kind of conduct,” Bergeron instructed different reporters Saturday. “We’re a staff constructed with character and character folks. What he did is unacceptable, and we do not stand by that. On this locker room, we’re all about inclusion, range, respect. These are key phrases and core values that we’ve got.

“We anticipate guys to put on this jersey to be high-character folks with integrity and respect. Hopefully there’s progress and alter.”

Bergeron added that Miller “wouldn’t be accepted and needed and welcomed” if it is clear he has not modified.

Left winger Nick Foligno echoed Bergeron’s sentiments.

“I am not going deceive you,” Foligno stated. “I do not suppose any man was too joyful due to how proud we’re to say that this can be a group that cares lots about ourselves and the way we feature ourselves and the way we deal with folks.”

Bruins President Cam Neely stated Miller was “accountable for his unacceptable conduct” throughout their contract talks. 

“Once I was in eighth grade, I made an especially poor choice and acted very immaturely,” Miller stated in an announcement of his personal. “I bullied considered one of my classmates. I deeply remorse the incident and have apologized to the person. Because the incident, I’ve come to raised perceive the far-reaching penalties of my actions that I failed to acknowledge and perceive almost seven years in the past. 


“I attempt to be a greater particular person and positively contribute to society. As a member of the Bruins group, I’ll proceed to take part in neighborhood packages to each educate myself and share my errors with others to indicate what a damaging affect these actions can have on others. To be clear, what I did after I was 14 years outdated was unsuitable and unacceptable. There is no such thing as a place on this world for being disrespectful to others, and I pledge to make use of this chance to talk out in opposition to mistreating others.”

Meyer-Crothers’ mom stated it was not one remoted incident within the eighth grade, however “years and years and years of torture.”


The defenseman apologized to Meyer-Crothers final week, years after the incidents.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was not consulted by the staff earlier than it signed Miller however has spoken with Neely for the reason that signing.

Nonetheless, Bettman stated Miller is “not coming to the NHL.”

“I am unable to let you know that he’ll ever be eligible to return into the NHL. If, the truth is, in some unspecified time in the future they suppose they need him to play within the NHL — and I am undecided they’re anyplace near that time — we will should clear him and his eligibility, and it will be primarily based on all the data that we get firsthand on the time,” Bettman stated Saturday.

“No one ought to suppose at this level he’s or could ever be NHL eligible, and the Bruins perceive that now,” he added.

Bettman did word that Miller might play for the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Windfall, the place he was despatched upon signing.

Miller was taken within the fourth spherical of the 2020 NHL Draft by the Arizona Coyotes, who knew of his 2016 conviction.

Miller sat out the 2020-21 season earlier than scoring 39 targets with 44 assists for Tri-Metropolis of the USHL in 2021-22. He was named the USHL’s participant and defenseman of the 12 months after setting league information for targets and factors by a defenseman.

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