Bruins sign player convicted of assaulting black schoolmate

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BOSTON — The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Mitchell Miller, who was waived by Arizona for bullying a black classmate with an intellectual disability in college.

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The Bruins signed Miller to an entry-level contract on Friday after spending several weeks during an evaluation period with the 20-year-old. Miller said he will continue to participate in community programs to educate himself and share his mistakes with others.

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« Representing the Boston Bruins is a privilege that we take seriously as an organization, » Bruins general manager Cam Neely said in a statement. « During this evaluation period, Mitchell was accountable for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to working with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a learning moment for others. »

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The Coyotes picked Miller in the fourth round of the 2020 draft despite knowing about his 2016 assault conviction. The team parted ways with Miller amid criticism after learning more about his bullying by Isaiah Meyer-Crothers.

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The University of North Dakota announced a day later that Miller was no longer on the school hockey team.


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Miller pleaded guilty at age 14 to one count of assault and one count of violating the Ohio Safe Schools Act. He and another teenager were accused of making Meyer-Crothers eat candy after wiping him in a bathroom urinal, and surveillance video showed them kicking and punching him.

Meyer-Crothers’ mother, Joni, said The Arizona Republic that Miller began bullying his son in second grade and used racial epithets.

Miller sent a letter to all 31 NHL teams acknowledging what happened and apologizing for his behavior. Joni Meyer-Crothers said Miller never personally apologized to Isaiah or his family, except in a court-mandated letter.

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« When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely bad decision and acted very immature, » Miller said in a statement. “I harassed one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the person. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the profound consequences of my actions that I had not acknowledged or understood almost seven years ago.

Miller missed the 2020-21 season before scoring 39 goals and 44 assists for Tri-City of the USHL in 2021-22. He was named USHL Player and Defenseman of the Year after setting league records for goals and points by a defenseman.

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