‘I was on the fence’: Patrice Bergeron says he was consulted before Bruins signed abuser Mitchell Miller

Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron told Sportsnet in Canada on Friday that he was uncertain about management’s decision to sign defensive prospect Mitchell Miller.

Miller, who signed a three-year rookie deal with the Bruins on Friday and reported to AHL Providence, was dropped by the NHL team that drafted him (Arizona) for bullying a Black and developmentally disabled classmate when he was 14.

Bergeron, in his 19th season and third as captain, was consulted about the possibility as the Bruins recently researched the 20-year-old’s background.

“I was on the fence,” Bergeron said in a brief clip posted from an interview conducted while the Bruins were in Toronto to face the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

“As a person but also as a team, we stand for integrity and inclusion and diversity, obviously. That was the first thing that came out of my mouth, was that it goes against what we are as a culture and as a team. And for me as a person.”

Bergeron also said he had been told Mitchell was “working hard to make some changes” in order to “help others to not do that.”

Bergeron was referring to Mitchell’s acts against Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, which he called “bad decisions in the past.”

The 44-second clip did not include the questions Bergeron was asked. It made it clear, however, that Miller is not guaranteed acceptance as a Bruin.

“For me,” Bergeron said, “I think the work is on him.”

In 2020 — the same summer the Coyotes were criticized for drafting Miller — Bergeron committed $25,000 to the Boston branch of the NAACP and $25,000 to Centre Multiethnique de Quebec to push for racial justice.

“The murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed,” Bergeron stated at the time, “made me realize that by not speaking up on the matter, and not using my voice as a professional athlete, it’s in fact allowing racism to fester and continue. Silence is not an option for me anymore.”


Matt Porter can be reached at matthew.porter@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mattyports.

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