UPDATED: 9:04 A.M. ET, Mar 10th, 2021 —
Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard says a racial slur while streaming Call Of Duty on Twitch.
Last year, throughout the heated racial climate in the United States, the NBA and its biggest voices were in a controlled bubble at Disney. When Jacob Blake was shot by police, the players considered canceling the season after the Bucks refused to play their game to bring awareness. Ultimately, players decided to wear shorts and kneel to show their support in different ways and continue the season anyway.
With that being said, some players refused to kneel, such as Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard. He had some reason for not kneeling, but now we might have a better understanding of why he decided not to. Meyers was caught–or better yet, showed his true colors–while playing a game of Call Of Duty today, which was being live-streamed.
In the clip above, you can hear his anti-Semitic comments, which are obviously disgusting. Not only that, the word he used was a deep-rooted slur that many feels show a new level of racism from him that he probably displays often behind closed doors. Even after saying the word, he showed no remorse, continuing to play the game as nothing had happened. That is until he received a call and claimed his wife needed him before abruptly ending the stream.
Shortly after the ordeal, Leonard took to Instagram where he wrote a lengthy apology to fans.
“I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a Livestream yesterday,” he explained, adding that he wasn’t aware of the meaning behind the word. “My ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong.”
The Miami Heat power forward wrote that he is now “committed to properly seeking out” those who can educate him on “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,” Leonard added.
The Heat later released a statement saying that the team “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,” the team’s statement read. “Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely. The Miami HEAT will cooperate with the NBA while it conducts its investigation.”