The Miami Heat stated that “Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely”.
According to South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, “the team’s center acknowledged uttering an anti-Semitic slur while streaming his video-game play on Monday night…the anti-Semitic slur was uttered in the middle of the two profanities amid video-game play of Call of Duty”.
Winderman reported that “The Heat’s action came shortly after Leonard issued an apology Tuesday evening about the slur, saying he was unaware of ‘how offensive it is to the Jewish community.'”
“I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday,” Leonard said in an Instagram post as transcribed by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “While I didn’t know what the word meant at the time, my ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong…I am now more aware of its meaning and I am committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it. I acknowledge and own my mistake and there’s no running from something like this that is so hurtful to someone else. This is not a proper representation of who I am…”Part of Meyers Leonard’s Instagram post as transcribed by the South Florida Sun Sentinel
You can find the full South Florida Sun Sentinel report here.
On March 9, the Miami Heat released a statement on this matter:
“The Miami Heat vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech. The words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise. To hear it from a Miami Heat player is especially disappointing and hurtful to all those who work here, as well as the larger South Florida, Miami Heat and NBA communities.”
The Heat went on to say: “Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely. The Miami Heat will cooperate with the NBA while it conducts its investigation.”
Udonis Haslem, longtime Miami Heat forward said this reportedly about the matter:
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman penned an open letter to Leonard:
“I want to apologize to the Arisons (Heat ownership), my teammates, coaches, front office, and everyone associated with the Miami Heat organization, to my family, to our loyal fans and to others in the Jewish community who I have hurt,” Leonard continued in his apology. “I promise to do better and know that my future actions will be more powerful than my use of this word.”
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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