Isaiah Meyer-Crothers has released a statement discussing the extent of the bullying by former Boston Bruins signee Mitchell Miller and saying that the hockey player’s apology was done over social media.
Miller, now 20, had admitted in an Ohio juvenile court in 2016 to bullying Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities. According to a 2020 article by the Arizona Republic, Meyer-Crothers was tricked into licking a candy push pop that Miller and another boy had wiped in a bathroom urinal.
But Meyer-Crothers said the bullying went beyond that incident.
‘Mitchell used to ask me to sit with him on the bus and then he and his friends would punch me in the head,’ he said in a statement released through the Hockey Diversity Alliance. ‘This happened all the time in school.’
Meyer-Crothers also said Mitchell used racial slurs around him.
The Bruins didn’t contact Meyers-Crothers or his family before signing Miller. They signed him to an entry-level contract because they believed the incident at 14 was an isolated one and he had taken meaningful efforts to reform himself. After learning ‘new information,’ the team cut ties with Miller on Sunday.
Bruins president Cam Neely said the team ‘failed’ in its vetting process and would conduct an internal review. According to The Athletic, Neely spoke with Meyer-Crothers’ mother, Joni, on Tuesday and offered counseling services for her son.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Miller had apologized, but Meyer-Crothers said the apology came through social media.
‘Middle of October, I was being texted constantly everyday till I answered a Snapchat and IG message from Mitchell Miller. He asked me why I always have my parents doing stuff for me and why can’t I speak for myself,’ Meyer-Crothers said in the statement.
‘I told him I don’t care what my parents say I’m old enough to speak for myself. He told me he was sorry and (that the apology) didn’t involve hockey.
‘He told he was doing stuff in the community and helping the youth and wanted to be my friend.
‘I told him, ‘That’s all cool but where is the proof though?’
‘He didn’t give me any (proof). All the lies I’ve been told from him, I didn’t believe that.’
Miller’s agent, Eustace King, told the ‘Cam & Strick Podcast’ on Monday that the two had been in contact and had been making plans to meet in person. He also said Miller had been involved in community programs.
Meyer-Crothers added in his statement that he has been receiving hateful messages on social media since the Mitchell news.