Mitchell Miller: NHL Coyotes sever ties with first draft pick who admitted bullying disabled black classmate

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According to the report, released by the Arizona Republic on October 26, Miller bullied a black teenager with an intellectual disability while in high school in Sylvania, Ohio, in 2016.

Miller and another teenager were accused of instigating Isaiah Meyers-Crothers into eating candy that had been placed in a urinal and physically assaulting him. Miller and another teenager admitted bullying in Ohio juvenile court and were sentenced to community service, according to the Republic.

The athlete sent a letter to NHL teams detailing the incident and apologizing for his actions, Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong cited in the report.

“Before selecting Mitchell to the NHL Draft, we knew that an incident of bullying took place in 2016,” said Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez. “We learned more about the whole issue and, more importantly, the impact it had on Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family. What we have learned does not match the core values ​​and vision of our organization and leads to our decision to waive our project rights. ”

Armstrong said he “fully” supported the decision to waive Miller’s project rights.“Mitchell is a good hockey player, but we have to do the right thing as an organization and not just as a hockey team,” Armstrong said. “I want to apologize to Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family for all they have been through over the past few months. I wish them the best for the future. ”

Six days before the Coyotes made the decision to drop Mitchell, the hockey player, who attends the University of North Dakota, released a statement through the team, which was sent to the Republic .

He said, “I am extremely sorry for the bullying incident that happened in 2016 when I was in eighth grade. I was young, immature, and felt bad about my actions. ”

He continued, “At the time, I didn’t understand the seriousness of my actions and how they can affect other people. I have apologized to the family for my behavior, taken cultural diversity and sensitivity training, and volunteered in my community with organizations like 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. Going forward, I want to be a leader for this cause and help end bullying and racism. ”

CNN attempted to reach Miller via the University of North Dakota.

Isaiah Meyer-Crothers’ mother told the Republic that Miller never apologized directly to her son, other than a letter mandated by the juvenile court.

The University of North Dakota issued a statement after the publication of the Arizona Republic article.

“We are aware of the unfortunate incident that happened with Mitchell in eighth,” the school said. “We decided that our program could provide him with the infrastructure and culture to not only hone his hockey skills, but most importantly, help him in his continued growth as a human being that will last the rest of his life.

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