Victim of Mitchell Miller's racist bullying speaks out
Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, the victim of racist bullying by NHL prospect Mitchell Miller, released a statement via the Hockey Diversity Alliance on Wednesday.
The statement comes days after the Boston Bruins rescinded its entry-level contract offer to Miller, who was originally selected by Arizona in the fourth round of the 2020 draft.
“I am Isaiah Meyer-Crothers,” the statement read on the HDA’s Twitter account. “I would like to make a statement. I have been bullied since I was in 1st grade. There were not many black kids at my school. I was called "brownie" and “n------.” Kids said my black mom and dad didn't love me that's why I had white parents.
“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. When I went to junior high Mitchell would spit in my face and call me a N word. I stopped telling because they called me a snitch and I would get made fun of. I had to say I was "his n------” to sit at his table and he made me clean the whole table.
“He threw food in my face. I was called “n------”every day. The office would tell me to stay away from him because he wasn't my friend. Once he got expelled from school, his friends started bullying me. He pretended to be my friend and made me do things I didn't want to do. In junior high, I got beat up by him.
“Everyone thought he was cool, but I don't see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life. Middle of October, I was being texted constantly everyday till I answered a Snapchat and IG message from Mitchell Miller. He asked me why I always have my parents doing stuff for me and why can't I speak for myself. I told him I don't care what my parents say I'm old enough to speak for myself. He told me he was sorry and [that the apology] didn't involve hockey. He told me he was doing stuff in the community and helping the youth and wanted to be my friend.
“I told him, "That's all cool but where is the proof though?" He didn't give me any [proof]. All the lies I have been told from him for so many years I don't believe what Mitchell told me. He kept asking me to be his friend and that he has changed over the years from what he did. I told him, "I'm not just gonna be your friend after all you did to me." I am now getting messages on social media from people, calling me 'a slow, retarded assclown' and 'you stupid N------,” saying that 'l need help'. Mitchell isn't my friend. 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. I can't take more of this.”
The statement was written in Meyer-Crothers’ own words and were edited by the HDA for brevity and clarity.
The Boston Bruins announced they were parting ways with Miller on Sunday, just two days after the team signed him to an entry-level contract. Miller had his draft rights relinquished by Arizona for bullying Meyer-Crothers, a Black classmate with developmental disabilities, in middle school.
The signing prompted criticism from Bruins players, media, and fans, as well as and comments from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman that the 20-year-old would not currently be eligible to play in the league.
Team president Cam Neely said in a statement the Bruins thought Miller's bullying of Meyer-Crothers was an isolated incident and reversed course based on new information.
Miller pleaded guilty at age 14 to one count of assault and one count of violation of the Ohio Safe Schools Act. He and another teenager were accused of making Meyer-Crothers eat a candy push pop after wiping it in a bathroom urinal, and surveillance video showed them kicking and punching him.
“I’m extremely upset that we have made a lot of people unhappy with our decision,” Neely said on Monday. “I take pride in the Bruins organization and what we stand for. And we failed there.”
The Coyotes drafted Miller despite knowing of his 2016 assault conviction. The team parted ways with the defenceman amid criticism after learning more about the bullying.