The Arizona Coyotes have severed ties with their 4th-round draft pick … punting Mitchell Miller out of their organization over his bullying past.
The ‘Yotes’ selection in the 2020 NHL Draft has been accused of making one of his classmates’ lives a living hell back when the two were in junior high in Ohio.
Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, a Black man who has developmental disabilities, told the Arizona Republic earlier this month that Miller beat him up and picked on him constantly.
“Everyone thinks he’s so cool that he gets to go to the NHL,” Meyers-Crothers said, “but I don’t see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life.”
The harassment got so bad … a police report was eventually filed, and in it, cops reportedly said Miller did some heinous things to Meyer-Crothers.
Officers in the report, per the Arizona Republic, said Miller called Meyer-Crothers racial slurs and made him lick a piece of candy that had been rubbed on a bathroom urinal.
18-year-old Miller reportedly admitted to the bullying in a juvenile court back in 2016 … but the Coyotes still took him with the 111th overall pick in the NHL Draft earlier this month nonetheless.
And, initially, the team had stood by the pick, even in the wake of Meyer-Crothers coming forward with his displeasure over the selection. But, on Thursday, the team announced it’s now officially moving on.
“Prior to selecting Mitchell in the NHL Draft, we were aware that a bullying incident took place in 2016,” Coyotes’ President & CEO Xavier Gutierrez said. “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.”
For his part, Miller apologized in a statement earlier this month for his disturbing past, writing, in part, “I am extremely sorry about the bullying incident that occurred in 2016 while I was in 8th grade. I was young, immature, and feel terrible about my actions.”
Miller is committed to playing hockey at the University of North Dakota … though it’s unclear if the school still plans on allowing him to play in the wake of the Coyotes’ decision.