The hits keep coming against the Boston Bruins in the wake of the Mitchell Miller signing and his subsequent release amidst a backlash of disapproval from Bruins players and fans.
On Tuesday, the Hockey Diversity Alliance tweeted out a statement that criticized the Boston Bruins for not just signing Miller but for not contacting his victim, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers and/or his family. They also called the Bruins out for a lack of ‘human decency’ and blamed the team for putting the Meyer-Crothers family through unneeded emotional stress:
Mitchell Miller’s signing with the Boston Bruins had to feel like a bandage being torn off a fresh wound. When Isaiah and his family needed privacy, support and time, Miller’s signing with the Bruins gave them only unwanted attention.
Our thoughts are always with them, and our door will always be open.
Sadly, Isaiah and his family were not in the thoughts of the Boston Bruins – if they had been then the team’s management would have at the very least reached out to them before signing Mitchell Miller.
That should have been a matter of not just due diligence but also, and more importantly, human decency.”
Our statement regarding the Boston Bruins' signing and release of Mitchell Miller. pic.twitter.com/qW862FOtdK
— Hockey Diversity Alliance (@TheOfficialHDA) November 8, 2022
On Monday morning, Boston Bruins team president Cam Neely addressed the media to explain his team’s and ultimately his decision to sign Miller, a controversial 20-year-old defenseman who had already been released by Arizona Coyotes in 2020 due to juvenile conviction of bullying and allegations of racism, and then release him Sunday night after he and the Bruins discovered ‘new information’
Just hours after Neely repeatedly told reporters he was unaware that Miller’s bullying and racism occurred more than once, Miller’s agent Eustace King painted a different picture on the ‘Cam and Strick Podcast‘:
“I can tell you that every team that I talked to had detailed information about what happened between Mitchell and Isaiah,” King told co-host Andy Strickland. “And also what my thoughts were of the scenario; why I decided to take him on as a client, and then most importantly, which is most important here, and I didn’t touch on this before, that they were able to do their own investigation, but I wanted to make sure that they knew that we had a plan, and we were trying to do stuff.”
Everyone knew what was at stake, everyone knew the risks they were taking, everyone knew everything. Nothing has come up or resurfaced that has been different from everything that you’ve seen before. And that’s why I put a timeline together because I have not been able to find any new information or new accounts that have happened.”
As for that ‘new information’ that Neely cited as the primary reason for the termination of Miller’s contract, King said he was unaware of anything new that may have surfaced.
“I think they have new information that they feel (justified the termination), but to the best of my knowledge, there’s no new information that’s come out,” King said.
Neely did continuously accept blame for the the self-created fiasco the Boston Bruins find themselves in and admitted their biggest mistake was not contacting Meyer-Crothers and/or his family and that the Bruins botched the vetting process.
“From everything I’ve heard, he was working on himself, working in programs to better himself,” Neely said of the “new information” the team cited when cutting ties with Miller. “I was under the impression it was a 14-year-old kid who made a really, really bad decision and did some horrible things, and he’s 20 years old now, so I was under the impression that he, in the last six years, had done a lot of work on himself. From a hockey standpoint, the scouts think he’s a player that can play. From a character standpoint, that’s where we failed.
Initially, I was thinking it was going to be, ‘OK, this kid deserves a second chance.’ I thought there would be some people that were going to be upset about it. But to the extent of this, I misread that. So, we could’ve done a better job. We should’ve done a better job.”