Earlier this month, the Hockey Diversity Alliance released a statement on the NHL and Arizona Coyotes regarding their decision to draft a player named Michelle Miller, who was convicted of assaulting a disabled black teenager four years ago.
Coyotes said they will work with Miller to “combat bullying and racism” after reports emerged that their top 2020 draft pick had been convicted of threatening a black classmate with a developing disability in 2016.
“Michelle Miller’s Coyotes Framework – not personally apologizing according to developed disabled, black classmate, and victim’s family – shows that” zero tolerance “of racism cannot be taken seriously in the NHL. Stated.
Item 6 of the HDA Pledge to Accept the NHL “We do not support, partner or accept from any organization engaged, encouraged or failed to respond appropriately to racist behavior in their organization” of any kind (without restriction, hate speech, goods, services and facilities And including discrimination in other sectors such as employment). “
Miller and another teenager were charged with assaulting and violating the Ohio Safe Schools Act in 2016 after Isaiah Meyer-Krothers allegedly ate candy in their urine.
According to a police report obtained by the Republic of Arizona, Miller and the other teen mayor-Krothers were pushed out and Miller lied to school officials about his involvement.
Meyer-Crothers said Miller had been abusing him for years, calling him “brown” and “n-word” and repeatedly beating him. “It hurts my heart to be honest,” Miller told the Republic after learning the draft. “They (coyotes) go back and look at what happened in the past, but I can do nothing about it.”
Miller and the other teens were given 25 hours of community service and ordered to write an apology to the mayor-crothers through the court system, participate in counseling, and pay court costs.
Coyotes selected Miller in the fourth round (111th overall) of the draft on October 7.
According to The Republic, the team did not make senior management available to comment on why they drafted Miller, but released a statement from team president and CEO Javier Gutierrez stating that they were aware of the incident and were working with him before drafting it.
“Our primary goal is to ensure a safe environment in schools, in our community, on the hockey rinks, or in the workplace – to avoid bullying and racism,” Guterres said in a statement. “When we first learned about Michelle’s story, it was very easy for us to get rid of him – a lot of teams did. Instead, we felt it was our responsibility to be a part of the solution – not just telling and doing the right things but ensuring that there were others besides ourselves.
“Depending on our priorities on diversity and inclusion, we believe we are in the best position to make Michel a leader for this cause and to prevent bullying and racism now and in the future. As an organization, we have made our expectations very clear to him. We are ready to work with Michel and with time, effort and We empower him and give him the resources and platform he needs to deal with bullying and racism. It’s not a story about excuses or justifications. It’s a story reflection, growth and community impact. Every true leader finds ways to contribute to the solution. We all need to be part of the solution. “
Gutierrez was elected the new president and CEO of Coyotes in June and was also named to the NHL’s Executive Inclusion Council last month, a team designed to focus on stopping racism and promoting diversity in the game.
Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said Miller, now studying at the University of North Dakota, had sent a letter to each NHL team acknowledging what had happened and apologizing for it.
Coyotes also sent out a statement from Miller on Friday.
“I am very sorry about the bullying incident in 2016 when I was in eighth grade,” the statement read, according to the Republic. “I was young, immature and horrible about my actions.
“At the time, I did not understand the gravity of my actions and how they affect others. I apologized to the family for my behavior, completed cultural diversity and sensitivity training, and volunteered in my community with organizations such as Little. Over the past four years, I have been able to reflect and grow. I have a lot of time and I am very grateful to the Arizona Coyotes for taking the opportunity on me. I promise not to disappoint them. Moving forward, I want to be a leader for this cause and help end bullying and racism. “
The University of North Dakota has admitted that it was aware of the incident about USA hockey played by Miller last season and the USHL’s Tri-City Storm.
Mayor-Crothers mother Joni told the Republic that despite the court-appointed letter, Miller did not personally apologize to her son or that the Coates did not contact their family.
“It doesn’t matter what they (the coyotes) say, what Michelle did to him,” she told the paper. “They have to apologize to our son.
“They are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem and they are adding fuel to the Black Lives matter.”
Files from azcentral.com (The Arizona Republic) were used for this report.