UPDATE: It's official, the Arizona Coyotes have renounced their pick of 4th round selection Mitchell Miller.
Read more below from Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez:
"We have decided to renounce the rights to Mitchell Miller, effective immediately," said Coyotes' President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez. "Prior to selecting Mitchell in the NHL Draft, we were aware that a bullying incident took place in 2016. We do not condone this type of behavior but embraced this as a teachable moment to work with Mitchell to make him accountable for his actions and provide him with an opportunity to be a leader on anti-bullying and anti-racism efforts. We have learned more about the entire matter, and more importantly, the impact it has had on Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family. What we learned does not align with the core values and vision for our organization and leads to our decision to renounce our draft rights. On behalf of the Arizona Coyotes ownership and our entire organization, I would like to apologize to Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family. We are building a model franchise on and off the ice and will do the right thing for Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family, our fans and our partners. Mr. Miller is now a free agent and can pursue his dream of becoming an NHL player elsewhere."
"I fully support our decision to renounce Mitchell Miller's draft rights," said Coyotes' General Manager Bill Armstrong. "It was a unique situation for me not being able to participate in this year's Draft and we were going through a transition with our scouting department. Mitchell is a good hockey player, but we need to do the right thing as an organization and not just as a hockey team. I'd like to apologize to Isaiah and the Meyer-Crothers family for everything they have dealt with the past few months. I wish them all the best in the future."
The scandal involving Arizona Coyotes draft pick Mitchell Miller continues to generate new headlines almost every day.
In case you're out of the loop, the Coyotes have come under fire after news that their 4th round draft selection Mitchell Miller was convicted of a racially charged assault on a mentally disabled classmate in high school. Miller was just 14 years old at the time of the assault and has plead guilty to bullying classmate Isaiah Meyer-Crothers whom doctors say was functioning at the level of a 10 year old. What Miller did to Meyer-Crothers is pretty reprehensible, to be honest.
I mean... just read this account of the assault from The Athletic's Scott Burnside:
Miller and a classmate acknowledged abusing Meyer-Crothers, including tricking him into eating a candy that they had urinated on and/or dragged through a urinal. Miller also used the N-word in referring to the 14-year-old boy who, according to the police report filed in February 2016, was functioning at a 10-year-old level.
More from The Athletic's Aaron Portzline:
One camera caught the boys walking into the bathroom with the candy in hand. Another captured them returning to the gym and climbing into the stands with the soiled candy. Yet another captured McKie motioning Isaiah toward them and Miller handing him the candy.
“It was clear this was a ‘team effort’ by Miller and McKie to convince Isaiah to like the push pop,” the police report reads. “Miller and McKie started laughing and nearly fell down as they laughed. They were very animated in their actions.
“Isaiah went to the side of the bleachers and it looked like he threw the push pop out and spit. He then used his shirt … to wipe his mouth out. He then started walking toward McKie and McKie started to run away. As Isaiah started chasing McKie, Miller came out of the stands and punched Isaiah in the arm as he was looking the other way.”
The fight continued off-camera — McKie and Miller vs. Isaiah — while at least two students ran to get help. Isaiah lost the fight and left the game early, one student told police. He was visibly upset.
Even worse though... Meyer-Crothers' family contend that Miller has never apologized for his actions and they believe that he has essentially gotten off without a punishment.
Now the Hockey Diversity Alliance led by NHLers like Evander Kane, Matt Dumba and Ryan Reaves is putting both the NHL and the Coyotes on notice. The HDA argues that by not properly addressing the issue of systemic racism in hockey, the NHL has allowed incidents like this to happen.
The HDA'S official statement on the matter:
I'll be honest here... I'm not exactly clear on just what the HDA is asking for from Miller, the NHL and the Coyotes. If the ask is to sign the HDA's pledge, that's pretty self serving, no? There's a victim in this case and the victim isn't the HDA... it's Isaiah Meyer-Crothers. There's no "pledge" that the Coyotes or the NHL can sign that's going to make things right for the Meyer-Crothers family. Instead, I feel the Coyotes and Miller need to do the right thing and put their money where their mouths are. First off, apologize to the family and make amends. Secondly, get involved in diversity and sensitivity training. You have an opportunity to be leaders and enact real change. Do it and stop talking about it.
The "do it and stop talking about it" advice goes to the HDA too. It seems their focus since launching has been more on selling hoodies and beanies and less on ending systemic racism in hockey. I can agree with their point of view, but I don't feel like they're following through on their intentions.