Today the Arizona Coyotes have officially renounced the rights to their fourth-round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, Mitchell Miller.
With the National Hockey League trying to take strides in combating racism and social injustices in the sport, the fact that Miller was ever drafted in the first place is an exclamation point on the inept management of the Arizona Coyotes, as well as the leadership group in the NHL.
Back in 2014, Miller, in eighth grade at the time, was convicted in an Ohio courtroom for the bullying of a developmentally disabled African American student. On multiple occasions, Miller called the student the N-word and “brownie” while physically abusing him.
The worst incident came when Miller tricked Meyer-Crothers into licking a candy push-pop that he and a friend wiped in a bathroom urinal, resulting in the need for Hepatitis, HIV, and STD testing, thankfully coming back negative.
In a phone interview for the Arizona Republic, the victim, Meyer-Crothers, had this to say:
He pretended to be my friend and made me do things I didn’t want to do.” “In junior high, I got beat up by him. … Everyone thinks he’s so cool that he gets to go to the NHL, but I don’t see how someone can be cool when you pick on someone and bully someone your entire life.”
As someone who was bullied growing up, there is a zero-tolerance policy in my life for bullying. I feel horrible for this kid and what he had to endure and the fact that Miller was able to get this far in his hockey career, with what happened, will never sit well with me, despite the news that broke today.
To make matters even worse, a month prior to the NHL Draft, the CEO and President of the Arizona Coyotes, Xavier Gutierrez, was named to the NHL’s Executive Inclusion Council, a group focused on fighting racism and creating widespread diversity in the sport.
While the team and the rest of the league knew about Miller’s past, the Coyotes believed that they could be a program that could help Miller become a better person, but as more news was released and this player and his past caught the public eye, the team released this statement earlier today via CBS Sports:
“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.”
Miller, 18, will now head back to the University of North Dakota, as his future in hockey is unknown at this time.
The question now that is circling the heads of hockey executives, players in the league, and fans is does everyone deserve a second chance? Players make mistakes. We see in other sports, particularly in baseball more recently, where players are being exposed for things they said on the web years ago, leading to mandatory classes as well as fines and suspensions. That does not mean their actions are forgotten.
The actions by Miller, at least in my eye, makes him undeserving of a second chance. Actions have consequences. While Miller can be extremely upset that his dream of playing in the NHL may never happen, and quite frankly should not happen, I could not care less.
He knew what he was doing was so morally wrong, but decided to do it anyway. Like I mentioned above, bullying has been a major issue in my life when I was a younger kid. Even with Miller being cut, that does not fix the physical and mental abuse that Meyer-Crothers had to deal with for years while the bullying occurred, not to mention the lingering effects that has on a person’s life.
On my radio show, The BS Sports Show, I let my opinions be known:
Only five more regular-season games remain in the SEC’s COVID-19 Conference-Games only schedule.
Here is my midseason awards for both teams and players.
BEST TEAM – Alabama
Undefeated Tide keeps rolling, defeating opponents by 22 PPG, and outgaining them by 140 yards per game.
SURPRISE TEAM – Arkansas
Hogs ended their 20-game conference losing streak and would be 3-1 if not for a botched call at Auburn.
DISAPPOINTING TEAM – LSU
Losing at home to Mississippi State gets worse every week. Pass defense is awful and couldn’t score on four tries from the one-yard line at Missouri.
MOST FORTUNATE/LUCKIEST TEAM – Auburn
What does it say about a team when the SEC concedes mistakes which would have reversed wins against Arkansas and Ole Miss? Instead, War Eagle is 3-2, which includes their first loss against South Carolina since 1933.
BOY, WERE WE WRONG ABOUT THEM – Tennesee
Since taking an eight-game win streak and leading 21-17 heading into the half at Georgia…POOF!!!!!!
Opponents have outscored the Vols 99-25 since, and whatever hopes existed to join the East’s elite have disappeared.
BEST TEAM OUTSIDE OF ALABAMA – Texas A&M
Jimbo Fisher’s boys caught a lousy break facing Saban’s wrecking crew in Week 2. Kellen Mond and the defense increase in confidence every week. Victory over Florida could vault Aggies to finish 9-1 and a spot in the CFB Playoff.
MOST ENTERTAINING TEAM – Ole Miss
What else do you expect from a Lane Kiffin coached team? Between their offensive firepower and Kiffin fined for sending out a negative Twitter post about the officiating, it’s the most fun a 1-4 team can create.
MVP: RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Harris leads the SEC in rushing yards (595), TD (14), and yards from scrimmage (742). He’s scored a TD in each of his last 12 games, totaling 1,368 rushing yards and 26 TD over that span.
BEST PLAYER: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
Smith’s production and ability to consistently make plays – great plays – makes him the best playmaker in College Football today.
BEST FRESHMAN: RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn
Despite rushing for 46 yards in the Tigers’ first two games, Bigsby’s impact over the last three games is phenomenal. The Freshman from Lagrange, Georgia, totaled 386 yards rushing and two TD’s while averaging just under six YPC (5.8) over that span.
|First 2 Games
|Last 3 Games
BIGGEST SURPRISE/IMPROVEMENT: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
Perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch to call Moore’s production this season a surprise after posting solid numbers his first two seasons at Ole Miss. However, Moore’s improvement this season is noticeable. His 47 receptions and 591 receiving yards both lead the SEC.
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER: RB Kevin Harris, South Carolina
The Gamecocks Sophomore RB ranks second in the conference in rushing yards (535), TD (9), and yards from scrimmage (634).
BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: LB Azeez Ojulari, Georgia
Ojulari’s speed and presence single-handedly defeated Tennesee and has stood out among his peers. His three sacks, two fumble recoveries rank among the best in the conference.
As we near the mid-point of the 2020 COVID-19 Special NFL season, strange circumstances surround the league. With the NFL trade deadline set for November 3 at 4 PM EST, Week 8 is the last weekend teams can showcase the players they wish to offer.
Here is the Week 7 version of Five Interesting Stats.
Eagles Lead NFC East with Losing Record and Negative Point Differential
Despite registering just two wins in their first seven games, the Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East. The Eagles 22-21 victory over the Giants on Thursday Night Football (Philadelphia erased a 21-10 lead with under six minutes remaining) gave them a 2-4-1 record, which currently sits percentage points higher than the 2-5 Cowboys and Redskins in the NFC East. All four teams feature negative point differential, with Washington currently besting the Eagles by 1 (Eagles -33, Redskins -32).
|Highest Negative Point Differential
|Division Winners, NFL Regular Season History
|>>All Won Wild Card Playoff Game
Falcons Lose in Final Seconds…AGAIN.
Matthew Stafford’s GW 11-yd TD pass to T.J. Hockenson saw the Falcons fall to 1-6 on the season. Atlanta’s 23-22 loss marked the third time the Falcons surrendered a lead with two minutes or fewer remaining in their first seven games.
|Largest Negative Point Differential
|Second Half, 2020 Season
|2nd Half Pt Diff.
|New York Jets
Jets Fall to 0-7 behind Offensive Offense
After totaling 30 plays for 193 yards and culminating their third drive with a five-yard TD run by rookie RB La’Mical Perine with 8:28 remaining in the second quarter gave the Jets a 10-0 lead, the Jets offense disappeared.
Gang Green recorded 25 total yards on 22 plays covering their final six possessions. If the Jets lose at Kansas City Sunday, they will match the 1996 team for the worst start in franchise history.
|New York Jets Offensive Drives
|Week 7 vs. Buffalo
|1st 3 Drives
|Last 6 Drives
Stafford Registers Another Fourth-Quarter Rally
In the Lions 23-22 victory over the Falcons, Matthew Stafford posted his 28th fourth-quarter comeback and 34th game-winning drive since 2011, the most in the NFL. The former Georgia alum threw for a season-high 340 yards, with 75 coming on their game-winning drive.
Despite his success, Stafford’s 42,605 career passing yards are the most for a QB never to win a postseason game.
|Most Regular Season Passing Yards
|No Postseason Victories, NFL History
Steelers Stay Undefeated
In a battle of unbeaten teams, the Steelers bested the Tennessee Titans, 27-24, as Stephen Gostkowski missed a 45-yard FG as time expired. Trailing 27-7, the Titans rallied but lost for the first time in 2020. The Steelers never lost a game in which they led by 20 or more points (212-0-1). The Raiders and Jaguars are the only other NFL franchises never to lose when leading by 20 or more points.
|Franchises Never To Lose
|When Leading by 20 pts or more
|First Season (Year)
|Largest Blown Lead
|18 pts (2x)
|18 pts (3x)
|17 pts (4x)