To whom it may concern,
My name is Ian McLaren. I’m a lifelong Boston Bruins fan living in Ontario.
A passion for the Spoked B was passed down to me from my grandmother and my father, who’d gather together on Saturday evenings to watch Bobby Orr play on Hockey Night in Canada.
This team has been a constant presence in my life since the Cam Neely and Ray Bourque days. They were my hockey heroes, and this team has been my first sports love for the past 35 years.
It became a source of pride for me to root for a team that supposedly had been built on something different.
From the retirement of Willie O’Ree’s number to Zdeno Chara instituting his policies on how first year players are treated to Chara and Patrice Bergeron speaking out in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, these were all steps in the right direction. It gave us hope that hockey might actually be for everyone.
That all went up in smoke yesterday, though.
At around age 14, I was bullied for being small and wearing dorky glasses and not wearing cool clothes or shoes. I still think about those guys with resentment. What Mitchell Miller did to Isaiah Meyer-Crothers is so far beyond that.
A hate crime is a prejudice-motivated crime that occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership (or perceived membership) of a certain social group or racial demographic.
This is what Miller is guilty of, and repeatedly.
By Sweeney’s own admission, Bruins players were consulted and they asked “why do this?” That should have been enough right there to quash this.
Sweeney even said “I can’t categorically tell you this was the right decision.” He also added he’s not sure he’d be able to forgive Miller if this happened to his own kid.
This signing was such an obvious pass and flies in the face of whatever the Bruins are trying to sell about their culture. Isaiah and his family deserve better than this. Not even afforded a phone call by the Bruins to get their perspective. Hockey is so far from being for everyone and I hate that my favorite team widened that gap today.
I host a daily Bruins podcast and just yesterday I talked about how I can’t remember ever having more fun being a Bruins fan. That went down the toilet so quickly.
Disappointment doesn’t even come close to expressing how I feel right now, and I feel sick that management and ownership have put the players and fans in this spot.
What can you say to fans who relate to Isaiah in light of hockey supposedly being for everyone? Second chances are cool and pobody’s nerfect but this was a case of racism and ableism, full stop.
Nobody’s interested in a Mitchell Miller redemption arc in black and gold. He’s not the victim here, and by giving him this second chance, you’re alienating a large part of the fanbase that was duped into believing the Bruins’ culture was different.
However many points Miller may record for the organization, it will never be worth it.