NBA Player Who Didn’t Kneel for Black Lives Matter Uses Anti-Semitic Slur on Twitch
Meyers Leonard, a backup center for the Miami Heat, used the slur while playing video games
A little more than seven months after he was in the news for refusing to kneel during the national anthem alongside his teammates in the NBA bubble during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, Meyers Leonard of the Miami Heat was heard using an anti-Semitic slur on Twitch while playing video games.
In a video that was recorded Monday but surfaced Tuesday, Leonard can be heard saying: “Fucking cowards; don’t fucking snipe me, you fucking k-ke bitch” while playing the multiplayer game Call Of Duty: Warzone. After the video began trending on social media, the NBA said it was investigating the incident involving the 29-year-old backup center.
“We just became aware of the video and are in the process of gathering more information,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement. “The NBA unequivocally condemns all forms of hate speech.”
In a statement he posted online, Leonard claimed he did not know what the word he used meant and apologized to members of the Miami Heat organization, including team owner Micky Arison (an Israeli-American billionaire) and his family.
Despite the online apology, the Heat announced Leonard, who sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in January and has appeared in only three games for Miami this year, will be away from the team indefinitely.
“The Miami Heat vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech,” the team 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 NBA communities.”
Now in his ninth season, Leonard could become a free agent this summer if the Heat choose not to exercise their team option to bring him back for next season for about $10 million. Given this incident, Leonard’s future with the team is in serious doubt, and his future in the league in general could be in jeopardy depending on what the NBA’s investigation is able to turn up. Even if the league doesn’t find anything, the optics are not good for Leonard considering what happened in the NBA bubble over the summer.
After he stood while the rest of his teammates and the majority of the NBA took a knee, Leonard explained his decision and said he was “a compassionate human being and I truly love all people.”
“I absolutely believe Black Lives Matter,” Leonard said, via Yahoo Sports. “I am with the Black Lives Matter movement and I love and support the military and my brother and the people who have fought to defend our rights in this country.”
Give Leonard credit. He did use his voice and his platform for something …
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