So far as public statements go, this one rings fairly hole:
To make an extended story quick, within the late hours of Thursday, within the hopes of sneaking by way of to Friday-news-dump territory, the Bruins signed minor league defenseman Mitchell Miller. Whether or not that identify is acquainted or not, it’s vital to remind everybody that Miller was the participant the Coyotes needed to resign the rights to after it got here to public consciousness that Miller had spent most of his teen years bullying and abusing a disabled classmate who additionally occurred to be Black. The main points have been galling to the least, and Arizona had little alternative after the general public outcry.
The Bruins wish to let you know they took all of this into consideration. What meaning is that GM Don Sweeney noticed it as a bonus. He noticed Miller as a devalued asset, whose previous abhorrent actions have been nothing completely different than an harm he’d overcome and made him extra obtainable. He was a expertise shrouded in a cloud that stored him hidden from those that didn’t wish to win as badly as Sweeney did, is how Sweeney assuredly noticed it.
After a weekend when his personal gamers made it clear they didn’t need this shitbird on their crew, his personal followers did the identical, and he made Gary Bettman appear like the great man when the commissioner made it clear Miller wasn’t eligible to be within the NHL and sure wouldn’t be, solely then did Sweeney put his tail between his legs.
Make no mistake, there was no “new data.” The Bruins thought this all had blown over, and that their very own followers’ veracious assist would clear the runway simply sufficient. Hockey males nonetheless don’t know how the world works exterior of hockey, and Sweeney was beneath the impression that the sorts of issues Miller did are merely hijinx of younger hockey gamers who’ve been allowed to get away with all the pieces for therefore lengthy. Sweeney was blindsided that his gamers, his league, and his followers even have a social conscience past what the hockey world engineers. He by no means noticed it coming as a result of he’s by no means needed to earlier than.
It’s a small, ugly step, but it is progress that the Bruins had to walk it back, and likely no team in the future will make the same mistake. Hockey should not be for people like Miller, and this is how the sport and league goes about making it so. It’s going to take more hockey men being unpleasantly awakened in public like this, or embarrassed if you like. The teaching isn’t going to come from within, that’s for sure.