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Mitchell Miller and the Boston Bruins

Monday 11/7/22

The Bruins, of course, have rescinded their contract offer to Mitchell Miller, a twenty-year-old defenseman, after much and deserved public outcry. I'm amazed when I see what people will defend, especially as someone who is often attacked--or hated and discriminated against--because of virtues. Things are very backwards in my world at present; I pay a price for each and every undeniably good thing and quality. I see people, though, defending what Miller did, saying he was but a fourteen-year-old kid, and don't we all make mistakes?

I don't need to fill in background--well, apparently if I worked for the Bruins, I'd have to, since they had no clue. More on that in a second. But the gist is that Miller bullied a disabled kid for many years. The bullying was heinous. He made the child lick a lollipop that had been dunked in a urinal. The comments he said to this kid were just as dark-hearted as you'll find. You can look all of that up. This was a public story--it was reported on--for some time. Public information. Easily accessible. You didn't have to run an NHL team to have it.

There's a big difference between a crime of passion, or a really stupid choice that one makes, and continued behavior over an extended period of time. You can't do many things worse than bullying a disabled person. If you are someone who does this, I think that says a lot about the environment in which you were raised. About your parents. But mostly what it says is about you. Because there is no excuse--no toxicity at home--for acting that way. Bullying by itself--before we introduce the fact of someone being disabled--is a form of torture, as you know if you've been bullied.

Every day of your life, you experience that torture. If you're bullied at school, you are terrified to return to this place you have to go to most of the days of the year. The damage that does will always stay with you. Emotionally, psychologically. It will take a lot to recover from that, if one ever does. It can hang around and color so many parts of your life long after that period is done. The effects of bullying never really end, is what I'm saying. Being bullied can wreck your life for real. Cause you to have so many issues. Trust issues. To get over the effects of being bullied takes an awful lot. And many people just don't have what that is, through no fault of their own.

The bullying happened, and Miller clearly had no contrition until he was forced to show at least some signs of regret. But that was court-mandated contrition. And it seems clear that he wouldn't have done anything to try and make amends--which isn't really possible--or even apologize to this boy--this young man--and his family, unless it got in the way of his career. Which is what happened. And has happened multiple times now.

Don Sweeney and Cam Neely of the Bruins--with a group that prides itself--maybe too much--on locker room togetherness and character--offered Miller an AHL contract. They didn't consult the commissioner of the league, who said that Miller was by no means cleared to play in that league, and might never be. Again, all of this story was out there. It had been reported. This is nothing new. The Bruins made him the contract offer anyway. They didn't reach out to the young man who was bullied or the young man's family.

Don Sweeney went to Harvard. How can you be this dumb? It's pretty simple. The people that I discuss in publishing: where do you think they went to school? I think anyone who reads these pages fully well knows how terrible those people are as people. That's the major takeaway. But in second place is just how stupid they are. I bet a lot of people have found that surprising here. The dumbest people I've ever known tend to have a group of schools in common. Harvard, Yale. If you're the exception, settle down. You should be smart enough to know you are, if you are, and not take everything so personally.

Cam Neely, meanwhile, was one of my favorite hockey players because he took less crap than anyone. That was his predominant ethos: accountability. No one was better at taking a number. He was an honorable player, with a built-in justice streak, so far as in-game action went. A moral player. No bullshit. No funny business. He'd make you pay for it. Religiously. Without exception. More than any guy I've ever seen, and it's not close.

The Bruins look incompetent, in terms of the front office. Neely released a statement, saying they were letting Miller go because of new info. There is no new info. It's all old info. Which everyone had. If they wanted to read widely circulated stories in well-known outlets. Sweeney and Neely had no clue. It's gross negligence. It makes you wonder how the hell someone could be that ignorant and that incompetent. Logistically, how do you manage it? Do you actually keep your head under a rock? Then you put forward this lame statement about new info? That's not true. All it can mean is it's new to you because you're so bad at your job. Like you don't even do your job. You don't go in to do it.

Which brings us to an idea of second chances. People say it's not a right it's a privilege to play in the NHL. Stop. This is imbecilic. It's neither a right nor a privilege. It's a job, in a business. You are not a role model. Anyone who has any clue how life works understands that a lot of these guys are doing not so great things like when they're out on the road. You can do something awful and get a second chance at your craft. But it's not automatic. And it's not for everything.

Molest seven kids, and there's no second chance. Miller didn't go that far. He went pretty far, though. He made a decision to be calculated and try and hurt someone who was disabled many days of that person's life. For years. There's something wrong with you if you're capable of that. There's something wrong with most people. I don't mean that. I mean there's a kind of monster in you. You're on the verge of never being able to get another chance. You're hanging by one last thread. The only way to get that chance, is to do a lot. Show a lot. Put in the time, the energy, the words, and the actions. You need to transform yourself, and show people that you have. That takes a while. It takes commitment. That has to be your life for a stretch of your life. Not hockey. And if and when hockey is a part of your life again, that other part still has to be there and show in evidence. And it has to be real and sincere.

He didn't do any of that. No time, no effort, no energy, no decency, no remorse. That's why you don't get the chance. And again, all of this was obvious. Any digging at all--and I shouldn't even call it that, because, as I said, it's part of the record--would have shown this to be the case.

So what were these Bruins bozos doing? Trying to fuck up as much as possible?

Unfortunately, I have learned that almost everyone is wretched at their jobs. Wretched. Totally incompetent. Remember those cops with the Gabby Petito story? The cops who intervened when she and the guy who eventually murdered her had a fight? An investigation was done later, and it was determined that the cops did thirty-three things wrong or whatever it was. I don't know the number. Don't quote me on the number. Again, you can look it up.

But if she hadn't been murdered, and the story wasn't as well-known as it was, they'd have skated. No one would have known. Trust me: they fucked up all the time. Most people do. They just don't get noticed. Until they do. Look at the cops in Uvalde. You don't think that's most cops? Incompetent. Something happens, and only then do we know about that incompetence. But they were what they were all along. I"m not signaling out cops. I have nothing more against cops than against anyone else. People suck. They're lazy. They cut every possible corner. Doing so erodes even the chance of having a skillset for anything. There is precious little accountability in our world, a world where greatness is hated because it makes everyone else feel shame and inadequacy. Where effort is hated. So many good things are hated. We are make a bed of low standards and no standards to lie in. That's how we get by. That's how the world gets by. People clear the bar because everyone has lowered the bar so that they can get over it. And if you raise the bar, you are the devil. The more you raise it, the worse you are viewed as the devil. And people usually don't have a single skill in this life. Doctors, lawyers. People aren't good at things. And no one really cares about being good at anything. They just want to get paid and go home and have a house and be bothered as little as possible and do the bare minimum. In everything. In every part of their lives. If you did an investigation on anyone, just about, do you know how much shit you'd find out that they do wrong? Or that is criminal? Or morally repugnant? Or that reveals their near complete lack of qualification to hold that office, have that job, win that award? There'd hardly be anyone who would come out fine.

So I think the Bruins--or the front office, that is--look like a joke. They got pantsed. The pantsed themselves. I heard Neely's press conference, and you can tell that he feels bad. He's embarrassed and ashamed, and yes, part of that is because of the backlash. People think he's an idiot now. How can you not? But I also think he felt guilt. I think he feels bad for dragging this kid who was bullied back into this nightmare that has never gone away.

I've been a Bruins fan my whole life. That won't change. But I was so disappointed. Not surprised, really. Nothing about how bad people are at things surprises me after all of my experiences. I wish this one did. It doesn't.

And all of those people who minimize what this man did--they are so dumb and they have no clue how much that says about themselves. It was "only" bullying, or he was "just" fourteen when he was doing some of it. How would you like that to be your kid as the disabled victim? Or how about if it were you? Those people are outing themselves as monsters, and monsters too stupid to even realize that's what they're doing.


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