After using an anti-Semitic slur during a Twitch live stream yesterday, injured Heat reserve center Meyers Leonard will be “away from the team indefinitely,” the team announced in a statement (via Twitter).
Leonard issued an apology today for his comment, as Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.
“While I didn’t know what the word meant at the time, 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 and I want to apologize to the Arisons, my teammates, coaches, front office, and everyone associated with the Miami Heat organization, to my family, to our loyal fans and to others in the Jewish community who I have hurt.”
The NBA and the Heat announced earlier today that they were reviewing the offending video clip in which Leonard uttered the slur as he played ‘Call of Duty: Warzone’ on Twitch. The Heat have since indicated they’ll let the league take the lead on the probe.
“The words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise,” the team said. “The Miami Heat will cooperate with the NBA while it conducts its investigation.”
The Heat’s contract with Leonard also includes a $10.1MM team option for the 2021/22 season. That option was always a long shot to be picked up — now, given the big man’s injury and this off-court incident, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which it’ll be exercised.