Son of Flyers GM Daniel Brière 'deeply sorry' for shoving wheelchair down stairs
UPDATE | Mercyhurst University has placed Carson Brière on "interim suspension" from the hockey team, the school announced in a tweet.
The son of former Gatineau, Que., hockey great Daniel Brière says he's "deeply sorry" for his actions after he was captured on camera pushing a wheelchair down a set of stairs.
The incident involving Carson Brière, a hockey player at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., happened at a bar on the weekend.
In a security camera video shared widely online, the younger Brière is seen chatting with another person at the top of a narrow staircase, next to an unoccupied wheelchair.
Brière sits briefly in the chair, stands up, and then shoves it down the stairs before returning to the bar's packed dance floor.
"I am deeply sorry for my behaviour on Saturday," wrote Brière in a statement. "There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment."
Actions 'inexcusable,' says father
Daniel Brière scored 696 regular season points over the course of his 17-year NHL career, spending time with Buffalo, Phoenix, Montreal, Colorado and Philadelphia.
After his NHL career wrapped up in 2015, he transitioned to front office positions, and just this month was named interim general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers.
"I was shocked to see Carson's actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday," the elder Brière wrote in his own 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 behaviour."
Sally Thomas, an accessibility advocate in Ottawa, said that as a daily wheelchair user she felt violated just hearing about the incident.
"When you use a wheelchair ... it becomes part of your identity," she said. "To throw my wheelchair down the stairs is to throw me down the stairs."
I don't think an apology is enough. - Sally Thomas, accessibility advocate and wheelchair user in Ottawa
The financial repercussions can also be significant: even a basic wheelchair costs at least $12,000, and depending on the damage, it could take weeks or months to fix.
"You can get a car, a decent running car, for the price of a wheelchair," she said. "I don't think an apology is enough."
In a tweet, Mercyhurst University said it learned of the "disturbing" incident Tuesday and that its office of student conduct and its police and safety department were both investigating.
The private Roman Catholic university issued a more detailed statement Wednesday afternoon, saying it had heard a "considerable outcry" from people and that the video footage "[made] our hearts heavy."
"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," the statement said.
"Our Mercy tradition also reminds us that students and all people who make poor choices deserve opportunities to learn, change behaviours, and atone for harmful actions."