Victim of adolescent bullying by Boston Bruins signee denies he gave player his support
By David Close, CNNUpdated: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 09:37:20 GMTSource: CNNA man described how he was bullied for years by NHL prospect Mitchell Miller, three days after Boston Bruins president Cam Neely saiBy David Close, CNN
Updated: Thu, 10 Nov 2022 09:37:20 GMT
A man described how he was bullied for years by NHL prospect Mitchell Miller, three days after Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said the team failed by signing Miller to an entry-level contract. The Bruins have since rescinded the offer.
The statement by Isaiah Meyer-Crothers acknowledged that Miller had repeatedly reached out to him last month by text and social media platforms. But Meyer-Crothers' account contradicted Miller's agent, who said the hockey player had received Meyer-Crothers' "blessing" and support before signing the now-rescinded contract.
In the lengthy statement, released through the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) on Wednesday via Twitter, Meyer-Crothers detailed alleged abuse by Miller that Meyer-Crothers says lasted for years beginning in elementary school.
Meyer-Crothers, who is Black, stated: "Mitchell used to ask me to sit with him on the bus and then he and his friends would punch me in the head. This happened my whole time in school."
In his statement, Meyer-Crothers alleges that Miller would spit in his face and call him the N-word. "He threw food in my face. I was called 'n-----' every day," the statement says.
CNN has reached out to the HDA for comment.
Miller was convicted at 14 years old of a bullying incident in which he and another teenager were accused of tricking Meyers-Crothers into eating candy that had been placed in a urinal, a report from The Arizona Republic revealed.
Miller and another teen admitted to the bullying in an Ohio juvenile court and were sentenced to community service, according to The Republic.
Before being drafted by the Coyotes in 2020, Miller sent a letter to all 31 teams at the time, expressing remorse for his actions.
"When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely poor decision and acted very immaturely," Miller said in a statement. "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."
The Coyotes would later renounce the rights to Miller following the draft.
CNN has reached out to Miller through his agent for comment.
Miller's representative, long-time hockey agent Eustace King, appeared on The Cam & Strick podcast on Monday and said: "He did what he did to a schoolmate and it's not right. So at the end of the day, its reprehensible.
"There is nothing that I wanna say that's going to be able to make what Mitch did okay ... Mitchell also eventually had a discussion with Isaiah before he signed his contract. And he wanted to make sure, and they spoke on the phone, that he had Isaiah's blessing.
"And Isaiah said, what I said before: 'You are going to be big time, God's going to look over you. You need to continue to do the work that we talked about.' And they talked about even working together."
Meyer-Crothers described their interaction differently.
"Mitchell isn't my friend," his statement said. "It hurts my heart what he did to me. So I just wanted to tell everyone -- when Mitchell says we're friends it isn't true."
Meyer-Crothers also added in the statement that he's been getting racist and degrading messages on social media, saying: "I can't take more of this."
CNN has also reached out to Meyer-Crothers and his family for comment.
Neely apologized on Monday and said the Bruins "failed" after the franchise walked back their contract with Miller.
Neely also apologized to Meyers-Crothers and his family.
"I'll say it again. I want to apologize to Isaiah and his family," he said. "It's something that they shouldn't continue to go through."