Published On: Wed, Mar 10th, 2021

Miami Heat Player Meyers Leonard “On Leave” for Anti-Semitic Remarks

Leonard's career might be over after nine seasons.

Meyers Leonard Miami Heat

Meyers Leonard, a player for the NBA’s Miami Heat, has been placed on leave by the team after he made anti-Semitic remarks on social media. The team said that Leonard would be on leave “indefinitely” after a video of the player making the comments surfaced.

So what did Meyers Leonard say that was so offensive? The NBA player was filmed playing the video game “Call of Duty: Warzone” with friends. During the video he can be heard calling another player “Kike.” His exact words were, “F***ing cowards. Don’t f***ing snipe at me. You k*** b**ch.”

There is no one understanding of how exactly this word came to be used as a derogatory term for Jews. One theory is that it had to do with sounding of the end of many Jewish family names.

The video was released on Twitch, a popular live streaming platform popular with gamers.

Leonard tried to apologize for his words in an Instagram post in which he claimed not to know that this word was offensive to anyone. “My ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong,” he said. “This is not a proper representation of who I am,” added Leonard, “and I want to apologize to the Arisons [the Miami Heat owners who are Jewish] my teammates, coaches… and everyone associated with the Miami Heat.”

But the Miami Heat apparently did not accept his apology.

“The Miami HEAT vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech,” the Heat said in a statement. “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 N.B.A. communities.”

The ADL was also appalled by what Leonard said. It tweeted, “We are shocked and disappointed to see @MeyersLeonard use this ugly, offensive #antisemitic slur. We have reached out to the @MiamiHEAT and @NBA about this and urge Mr. Leonard to issue an apology immediately for this egregious and hateful rhetoric.”

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