NBA Star Feels the Heat After 'Inexcusable' Comment

Miami Heat's Meyers Leonard fined $50K, suspended for week for using anti-Semitic slur
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2021 7:00 AM CST
Heat Player Fined $50K for Using Slur
Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard, center, greets his teammates before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 29, 2020, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)

The Miami Heat pulled forward Meyers Leonard away from the team "indefinitely" this week after he was caught on video using an anti-Semitic slur, and now the Heat has qualified what "indefinitely" means. The 29-year-old will be suspended from all team activities and barred from using Heat facilities for one week, and he'll also have to pay a $50,000 fine and take part in a cultural diversity program, reports NBC News. Meyers had found himself in hot water after he used the word "k---" while playing Call of Duty live Monday on the Twitch streaming platform. He later deleted the video, apologized, and said he hadn't known the word's meaning or history. "Meyers Leonard's comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Silver noted that Leonard had been in touch with the Anti-Defamation League "to better understand the impact of his words." The commissioner added, "We accept that he is genuinely remorseful." Meanwhile, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman posted an open letter to Leonard to "offer some perspective," per Yahoo Sports. "I get the sense that you didn't use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance," the football player wrote in his Wednesday online post. Edelman, who is Jewish, added that "casual ignorance is harder to combat" and that it's "like a virus. Even accidentally, it can rapidly spread." The Patriot then mentioned he's in Miami on occasion and that the two should get together. "Let's do a Shabbat dinner with some friends," he noted. "I'll show you a good time." (More Miami Heat stories.)

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