BOSTON (WHDH) – The Boston Bruins are dropping Mitchell Miller, effective immediately, Bruins President Cam Neely announced Sunday.
The announcement comes after a weekend of backlash following the Friday announcement of the team signing Miller as a new player.
Miller was charged and admitted to bullying and racially abusing a Black, developmentally disabled classmate for years in 2014, including kicking and punching him, calling him slurs and forcing him to eat candy swabbed in a urinal.
At 20, Miller had been selected by Arizona in the 2020 draft, but the Coyotes relinquished his draft rights after learning more about his abusive past, and after criticism by the public.
The Statement from Neely said in part, “the decision to sign this young man was made after careful consideration of the facts as we were aware of them: that at 14-years-old he made a poor decision that led to a juvenile conviction. We understood this to be an isolated incident and that he had taken meaningful action to reform and was committed to ongoing personal development.”
“Based on new information,” the statement read, “we believe it is the best decision at this time to rescind the opportunity for Mitchell Miller to represent the Boston Bruins.”
It was not clear exactly what new information had led to the decision.
“The culture that we built here goes against that type of behaviour,” Bruins Captain Patrice Bergeron said after learning of the signing. “In this locker room, we’re all about inclusion, diversity, respect.”
Neely also wrote the team will be reevaluating their internal processes for vetting players who want to join the team, and they apologized for the impact of the decision to sign Miller in the first place, including an apology to the former classmate.
“To Isaiah and his family, my deepest apologies if this signing made you and other victims feel unseen and unheard. We apologize for the deep hurt and impact we have caused,” Neely wrote. “Finally, as a father, I think there is a lesson to be learned here for other young people. Be mindful of careless behaviors and going with the group mentality of hurting others. The repercussions can be felt for a lifetime.”
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