When the Arizona Coyotes drafted Mitchell Miller at this year’s NHL Entry Draft, the dominos that fell after the selection were messy. The Coyotes took a PR hit for drafting a player that had been convicted of bullying a Black, mentally disabled teen four years ago, and after the backlash, the organization decided to renounce the pick.
Not long after, University of North Dakota President Andrew Armacost announced that former Arizona Coyotes draft pick would no longer a part of UND’s men’s hockey team. Saying he could still go to school there if he wanted, Miller was being removed from the team, effective immediately.
This was two teams that suggested they were going to use his past as a way to teach awareness to issues of bullying and race, but walked away when the heat was turned up. Many will argue this was the right decision.
Meanwhile, Miller is dealing with the consequences of his actions, and one family member is starting to speak up in his defense. His twin sister McKenzie Miller is tired of what she believes is only one side of the story coming out. She contends that her brother is not racist, that she’s been in a relationship with an African American male and that Mitchell has become friends with this person (even though the two are no longer together) and that the bullying case is not one-sided.
“Growing up as Mitchell Miller’s twin sister, I can assure you he is one of the most genuine big hearted young adults there are and i’m sorry for those of you who have never had the chance to truly get to know him. I would not have wanted to grow up with anyone else.”
She then talks about their family’s history with black people and adds at the end, “Lastly anyone that knows both Mitchell and Isaiah know this story wasn’t just one sided.”
This Was Probably Not A Wise PR Move
While the whole, ‘I know and like black people, so we’re not racist’ plea won’t get a ton of sympathy, the idea of shifting some of the blame on the victim here is probably not the best move while Miller tries to salvage what he can from what might be left of his hockey career.
The better bet might have been for Miller to start with a public apology. If he felt the need to explain, maybe people would have time to listen if they believed he was remorseful. That hasn’t happened yet and his sister is already trying to shift the focus onto the Meyer-Crothers’ family.
We’ll assume she meant no additional harm here with this post. Unfortunately, it might have the opposite affect from its intended purpose.
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