Coyotes prospect was convicted of assaulting disabled black teenager

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Arizona Coyotes prospect Mitchell Miller was charged with assault and violating the Ohio Safe Schools Act in February 2016 Republic of Arizona reports, after he and another student admitted to bullying Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a classmate who is black and has a learning disability.A police report obtained by the Republic states that Miller and the other student forced Meyer-Crothers to eat candy that had been in a urinal. He goes on to say that the two teenagers then hit and pushed the boy, and Miller lied to school officials about his involvement. Miller and the other teenager were “sentenced to 25 hours of community service and ordered to write an apology through the court system in Meyer-Crothers, attend counseling, and pay fees. court costs “, Republic reports.

The Coyotes selected Miller, now 18, in the fourth round of the NHL Draft earlier this month. In a statement provided to Republic, the team says they were aware of Miller’s belief before choosing him, but “Given our diversity and inclusion priorities, we believe we are in the best position to guide Mitchell so that he become a leader for this cause and for preventing bullying and racism now and in the future. ”

“Our fundamental mission is to ensure a safe environment – whether in schools, in our community, on the hockey rinks or in the workplace – to be free from bullying and racism”, it reads. part in the declaration. story, it would have been easy for us to fire him – many teams did. Instead, we felt it was our responsibility to be part of the solution in a real way – not only by saying and doing the right things ourselves, but by making sure others did. are also. ”

Meyer-Crothers and her mother spoke to Republic, saying the Coyotes are “part of the problem.”

“Put yourself in our shoes. Would you agree? Joni Meyer-Crothers, Isaiah’s mother, said. “It’s a joke that a sports team, especially with everything going on with Black Lives Matter, would do that. ”

Meyer-Crothers, now 18, told the Republic that Miller had taunted him for years, calling him names like “brownie” and the “N-word” while hitting him repeatedly while growing up. When he saw the news that Miller had been drafted by the Coyotes, he said it “hurt my heart.”

The Coyotes sent a statement from Miller to the Republic, where he apologized for his actions and pledged to “help end bullying and racism”.

“I am extremely sorry for the bullying incident that occurred in 2016 when I was in eighth grade. I was young, immature and I felt bad about my actions, “the statement read.” At the time, I didn’t understand the seriousness of my actions and how they could affect others. I have apologized to the family for my behavior, taken cultural diversity and sensitivity training, and volunteered in my community with organizations such as Little Miracles. Over the past four years I’ve had a lot of time to think and grow and I’m so grateful to the Arizona Coyotes for taking a chance on me. I promise not to let them down. “

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