Controversial young American defenseman Mitchell Miller will join the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (USHL) for the 2021-2022 season.
The linebacker was convicted of assault for bullying and beating an African American with developmental disabilities when he was 14.
The Arizona Coyotes drafted him in the fourth round of the 2020 National Hockey League (NHL) auction before giving up his rights after the youngster’s crimes were publicly revealed.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to resume my career with Tri-City Storm,” Mitchell told Sportsnet. What I did when I was 14 hurt others and I am sincerely sorry. I have grown a lot in the past 5 years and become a mature person who respects everyone at all times. I swear to make the most of this opportunity, to be a good person on and off the ice, and to help others in any way I can.”
Miller had to give up his competitive sports activities for the 2020-2021 season and Storm decided to take a chance on him.
“After careful consideration, the Storm team has decided to give Mitchell Miller an opportunity to reclaim some excitement in his amateur hockey career,” Storm president and coach Anthony Noreen said in a statement. We know Mitchell very well and are convinced that what happened when he was 14 is not the character he has today at 19.”
The team and Mitchell participate in community service and anti-bullying initiatives that support children with disabilities, athletes with disabilities, the homeless, and seniors.
Noreen continued, “Mitchell and the storm do not diminish what happened 5 years ago.” Bullying and racism are not tolerated under any circumstances, and Mitchell is fully aware of this and regrets it. It has since grown and we believe in it.”
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