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Son of Flyers GM Briere among three Mercyhurst students suspended after wheelchair incident

Mercyhurst University has suspended three student-athletes including Carson Briere, son of Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere, after a video showing a man pushing an empty wheelchair down a flight of stairs went viral.

In a statement Wednesday, Mercyhurst indicated three students were identified by the athletic department and were placed on interim suspension from their athletic teams per school policy pending the outcome of an investigation.

In the video, which appears to be from a fish-eye security camera at Sullivan’s Pub in Erie, Pa., two men wearing backward ball caps climb the stairs and have a conversation before one of the men — who is wearing a white ball cap — appears to sit in the empty wheelchair at the top of the stairs and wheels it forward, toward the entrance to the bar.

After the man with the white ball cap stands up out of the chair, the second man positions the wheelchair at the edge of the stairs. The man with the white cap then pushes the chair down the stairs. A portion of the chair appears to break off as it hits the stairs.

The time stamp on the video displays Saturday’s date of 3-11-2023 and counts up from around 11:38 p.m. As of 4:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the video had 22.4 million views.

A GoFundMe page, opened by the person who originally posted the video on Twitter, to raise money for a new wheelchair had raised almost $6,000.

Briere, 23, is a third-year player with the Mercyhurst University men’s team, and previously played with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. He is identified on the Mercyhurst roster page as being the son of Daniel Briere and Sylvie Lessard.

In statements issued via social media and obtained by Sportsnet, both Carson and his father apologized for an incident, not specifically referring to the video with the wheelchair.

Danny Briere’s statement: “I was shocked to see Carson’s actions in the video that was shared on social media yesterday. 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.”

Carson Briere’s statement: “I am deeply sorry for my behavior on Saturday. There is no excuse for my actions, and I will do whatever I can to make up for this serious lack of judgment.”

Mercyhurst University identified Briere as the student seen pushing the unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs in a statement released Wednesday afternoon but did not issue any discipline initially.

“Mercyhurst University has heard a considerable outcry regarding the social media video of student Carson Briere showing him pushing an unoccupied wheelchair down a flight of stairs. Mr. Briere issues a statement taking responsibility for his actions, and in doing so, he recognized his behavior reflects a ‘serious lack of judgment’ and that he is ‘deeply sorry.’ 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 statement read.

“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.”

A report on Wednesday said the Erie Police Department was investigating the incident.


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