Carson Briere, son of Quebec NHL star Danny, apologizes for shoving wheelchair down stairs
Mercyhurst University hockey player Carson Briere, the son of Philadelphia Flyers interim general manager Danny Briere, and two other student-athletes have been suspended after Briere pushed an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs at a bar.
A video was posted on Twitter on Tuesday by Julia Zukowski who said she worked at Sullivan’s Pub in Erie, where the incident happened, and knows the person whose chair was damaged. She said that she made the footage public because she “just can’t stomach the thought of this kid getting away with it.”
The incident took place on Saturday. The stairs lead to the restrooms, and the wheelchair’s owner had been carried downstairs to use the facilities.
“After conducting an initial investigation into the incidents depicted on social media, the Mercyhurst, a school of about 3,000 students in Erie, Pennsylvania has determined that three individuals in the video are student-athletes,” the athletics department said in a statement Wednesday. “We have placed all three on interim suspension from their athletics teams per school policy, pending the outcome of the investigative process.”
Carson, 23, who’s in his third season with the Mercyhurst hockey team, issued an apology on Wednesday.
“I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday,” he said in a statement released through the the NHL’s Flyers. “There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”
A Go Fund Me page was set up to raise money to purchase a new wheelchair and was cut off at $8,811. The wheelchair’s owner went on social media to say she would rather give the money “to those who need it.”
Briere, then a redshirt freshman, had been dismissed from the Arizona State hockey team in 2019 for violating undisclosed team rules, according to the local media.
“The actions displayed in the video make our hearts heavy and fall short of our Mercy belief in the inherent dignity of each person,” the university, based in Erie, said in a statement. “We pray for and are in solidarity with the victim and all persons with disabilities who rightfully find actions like this to be deeply offensive. Our Mercy tradition also reminds us that students and all people who make poor choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviors and atone for harmful actions.”
Danny Briere, who was promoted to run the Flyers last week when Chuck Fletcher was fired, said he was shocked to see his son’s actions in the video. Danny had been a special assistant to Fletcher.
“I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday,” he said in a statement. “They are inexcusable and run completely counter to our family’s values on treating people with respect. Carson is very sorry and accepts full responsibility for his behavior.”
This article was reported by USA Today.