Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, who was bullied by NHL prospect Mitchell Miller in middle school, says he saw no evidence Miller changed his behavior.
In a statement released Wednesday by the Hockey Diversity Alliance, Meyer-Crothers, who is black and has developmental disabilities, said Miller texted to apologize and say he does community work to help young people to help.
“I told him, ‘This is all cool, but where’s the proof?’ He didn’t give me any [proof]’ said Meyer Crothers.
“All the lies he’s told me for so many years I don’t believe what Mitchell told me.”
Incredibly heartbreaking read, but a necessary one. Our actions, or lack thereof, have real consequences. A statement by Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, in his own words, sent to Akim Aliu, HDA Chairman, on November 8, 2022, asking the HDA to release publicly on his behalf. pic.twitter.com/dctpDdrXaL
The statement came days after the Boston Bruins rescinded their entry-level contract offer to Miller, who was originally selected by Arizona in the fourth round of the 2020 draft.
Bruins president Cam Neely said Monday the team “dropped the ball” with its internal review of the defender.
Boston signed Miller on Friday, which has drawn widespread criticism from Bruins players from captain Patrice Bergeron down, as well as from Boston’s fan base.
The offer to Miller was rescinded late Sunday, with Neely saying in a statement the Bruins believe Miller’s behavior is an isolated case and the team have changed course based on new information – specifically that the team has not spoken to Meyer-Crothers or his family have .
In 2016, at the age of 14, Miller pled guilty to one count of assault and one violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act. He and another teenager were accused of tricking Meyer-Crothers into eating a candy push pop after wiping it down in a bathroom urinal, and surveillance video showed them kicking and hitting him.
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Meyer-Crothers said the abuse lasted for years.
“Mitchell used to ask me to sit on the bus with him, and then he and his friends would hit me on the head,” Meyer-Crothers said. “It happened all through my school days.
“When I was in junior high, Mitchell spat in my face and called me an ‘N-word.’ I stopped telling it because they called me a snitch and I would be made fun of.”
“I can’t take any more of this”
Meyer-Crothers said Miller’s friends continued the bullying after Miller was expelled from school.
“Everyone thought he was cool, but I don’t see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully them their whole life,” Meyer-Crothers said.
Meyer-Crothers said he recently received racist and offensive messages on social media.
“Mitchell is not my friend. It hurts my heart what he did to me,” he said. “So I wanted to tell everyone — if Mitchell says we’re friends, that’s not true.
“I can’t take any more of this.”
“When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely bad decision and acted very immaturely,” Miller said in a statement. “I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the person. Since the incident, I have a better understanding of the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand almost seven years ago. “
The Coyotes drafted Miller despite knowing of his 2016 assault conviction. The team parted ways with Miller amid criticism after learning more about his bullying from Meyer-Crothers.
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