Last year's NBA Finals' runner-up, Miami Heat, announced that one of their players, Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely after the banned NBA player used an anti-Semitic slur while playing a video game on a live streaming platform.
NBA Player Banned After Anti-Jews Livestream Slur
According to NBC News, the video circulated online on Tuesday of Leonard playing 'Call of Duty' on Twitch, which is an online platform for video game streamers and content creators. The criticism spread swiftly online.
The Anti-Defamation League tweeted that it was shocking and disappointing to see @MeyersLeonard used the ugly and offensive anti-Semitic slur. The banned NBA player who is also an avid gamer has received noticed from tech companies like Scuf Gaming, Origin PC, and Astro Gaming, who were ending their relationships with Leonard.
On Tuesday night, the NBA franchise handling Leonard also offered its own rebuke of him and stated that the Heat organization vehemently condemns the usage of any form of hate speech. On the official Twitter page of the team, they tweeted that the words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and they will not tolerate any hateful language from anyone who is associated with their franchise.
The Twitter page of the franchise also mentioned on the tweet that hearing it from Miami Heat players is especially disappointing and hurtful not only to all working members of the franchise, but also to all on the larger South Florida, and NBA communities. The owner of the Heat Mickey Arison and the organization's CEO who is own son, Nick, are Jewish.
Moreover, the banned NBA player later apologized to all of his affiliations, stating in an Instagram post that he did not know what the word meant. He also added that he is deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during his live stream.
In addition, Leonard also shared that he did not know about the meaning of the word at the time and his ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and admitted that he was wrong. He also added that he is now more aware of the word's meaning and he is committed to properly seeking out people who can help him educate regarding the type of hate and how people can fight it, Sporting News reported.
On the other hand, the spokesman of the league, Mike Bass mentioned in a statement that the NBA is in the process of gathering more information about the incident on the live streaming platform and the league unequivocally condemns all forms of hate speech. The Heat organization also stated that it will cooperate with the investigation.
Based on the report of the Associated Press, Meyers Leonard is a center for the Miami Heat and also in his ninth NBA season. This season, the banned NBA player only appeared in three games for the organization after suffering from a shoulder injury in January.
Last summer, during the United States national anthem, Leonard stood hand over his heart despite most of the players and coaches chose to kneel. He stated during that time that he could bring himself to kneel as he is supporting the military for his brother was a US Marine veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan but he clarified that he is still supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
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