On Thursday, Oct. 29., the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes officially dropped their top draft pick player, Mitchell Miller after an uproar regarding resurfaced bullying allegations.
In 2016, Miller took part in a juvenile trial for allegations that he bullied a Black classmate with developmental disabilities.
Miller and another boy tricked fellow classmate Isaiah Meyers-Crothers into eating a candy push pop that they wiped on the bathroom urinals.
According to a police report, Meyers-Crothers accepted the candy in hopes of befriending the pair. This resulted in him getting tested for Hepatitis, HIV and STDs, all of which came back negative. Miller targeted Meyers-Crothers using racial slurs for years when, at the time, his mental ability matched a 10-year-old’s. Meyers-Crother stated Miller taunted him as recently as two years ago.
Miller and the other student received two misdemeanor charges, ensuing 25 hours of community service, writing a court ordered apology to Meyers-Crother, going to counseling and paying court costs.
The NHL initially knew about Miller’s past but decided he showed character development and chose to embrace it as an opportunity to teach Miller and give him the chance to work on anti-bullying efforts.
Many people grew upset, as the Coyotes’ chief executive Xavier Gutierrez was selected to be a member of an elite NHL committee pledging to stop racism, but then went on to draft Miller as the Coyotes’ first pick in the fourth round to the team.
Meyers-Crother said Miller has not personally apologized to him yet, but the player did send apology letters to 31 NHL teams.
President and CEO of the Coyotes team said in a statement that once they dug deeper into the situation, they discovered the impact Miller’s actions had on Isaiah and the Meyers-Crother family. They said it does not align with their vision and impact they want for the organization.
While Miller no longer remains a part of the Coyotes team, he continues to attend the University of North Dakota.