Tex Hollywood - November 7, 2022
The Bruins announced on Friday that they had singed Mitchell. Miller, with an entry level contract two years after the Arizona Coyotes renounced their rights to Miller who was a 4th draft pick in 2020.
The reason Arizona renounced their rights to Miller is because they found out that he bullied a disabled classmate when he was in Junior high in 2016. Apparently, it was a big story at the time.
The 14 year old Mitchell and his friend apparently "forced" the other kid into eating candy they had placed in the urinal, which for anyone with an older brother out there, is standard practice. A little urinal cake or urine soaked candy never killed anyone, but sure, bullying people and making them eat urine candy is pretty vile.
The two bullies admitted to their crimes in Juvenile court, did the time which was community service.
Miller, who is now 20 said at the signing with the Bruins, which I assume he thought was his second chance on Friday: "When I was in the eighth grade, I made an extremely poor decision and acted very immaturely. In his defence, he was 14.
He went onto say “I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the individual. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand nearly seven years ago. I strive to be a better person and positively contribute to society. As a member of the Bruins organization, I will continue to participate in community programs to both educate myself and share my mistakes with others to show what a negative impact those actions can have on others. To be clear, what I did when I was 14 years old was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for being disrespectful to others and I pledge to use this opportunity to speak out against mistreating others.”
On Friday Cam Neely, the teams president and ex-player said:
“Prior to signing Mitchell, our Hockey Operations and Community Relations groups spent time with him over the last few weeks to better understand who he is as an individual and learn more about a significant mistake he made when he was in middle school. During this evaluation period, Mitchell was accountable for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to work with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a teachable moment for others. The expectation is that he will continue this important educational work with personal development and community programs as a member of the Bruins organization.”
So they signed Miller Friday, said all that stuff, and today Cam Neely said:
“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 that understanding we offered him a contract.
Apparently new information came to light, so they pulled the contract but left parting words of wisdom
“We hope that he continues to work with professionals and programs to further his education and personal growth,”
Neely did not go onto to outline every bullying incident that he, or all his other players participated in when they were 14, but for anyone who went to school with Jocks in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s will know, broomsticks may never quite look the same. That's not to say Neely was a jerk, it's to say that I am sure MANY star players were.
Neely went onto to apologize to the bullied kid:
“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 said. “We will continue to stand against bullying and racism in all of its forms.”
Neely added “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.”
He did not say "thank god there wasn't the internet when I was coming up as a player because that destroys lives" but he's probably thinking it!
Again, bullying is bad, teach your kids to not be pieces of shit, but it happens, if they do the crime, make them do the time and hopefully people can move on. In part, because none of us are the way we were at 14, but also because there are people who literally murdered people, like their entire families after burning down their house when underage are walking the streets free at 18 with no official record. Something to think about.