UPDATE: Both the Miami Heat and Meyers Leonard released statements regarding Leonard’s use of an ethnic slur on Tuesday afternoon.
In Leonard’s statement, the 29-year-old claimed that he “didn’t know what the word meant” — yea, we rolled our eyes too.
“”I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday,” he wrote. “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. I am now more aware of its meaning and I am committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it.”
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Shortly after that statement, the Heat announced that after using the ethnic slur, Leonard would be away from the team while condemning his statement.
“The Miami HEAT vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech,” the team said in a statement on social media. “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.”
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) March 10, 2021
ORIIGINAL: Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard is now the latest professional athlete exposing himself after using an ethnic slur during a live stream.
While playing Call of Duty online, Leonard used the anti-Semitic “K” word after being shot at in the game.
You can see the clip for yourself below, but just know that the language is offensive, obviously.
"You kike bitch" says Meyers "I stand for the national anthem" Leonard. pic.twitter.com/qKbO0j0dwQ
— Mark Travis (@Mark_Travis) March 9, 2021
And it wasn’t over after dropping the slur on stream. Instead of immediately apologizing and ending the stream Leonard kept on going like nothing happened. Until, that is, he got a phone call from who he claimed is his wife. Though, many are believing — without confirmation of course — that it was actually his agent.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 9, 2021
You can clearly see when he answers the call the moment he starts getting an ear full. It’s likely that it hit him that he just royally screwed himself by using the slur he did.
Meyers Leonard’s Ethnic Slur Should Cost Him
They call alcohol a truth serum, but anger and rage can expose just as much of a person’s mindset. While I don’t expect his career or life to be over for the use of a single word, it begs the question as to what he uses when the cameras aren’t around.
Common sense should tell you it’s pretty easy to not say slurs on a live stream when you don’t use them in your normal life. It’s also easy to use them on stream when you’re used to saying them.
While people will likely come to his defense as well as Leonard himself trying to defend his language, we need to call a spade a spade. If it wasn’t in your normal vocabulary, it wouldn’t be in your head to say it when playing video games.
Are all of us perfect? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be held accountable for the words they say.
So far neither Leonard, the Miami Heat, nor the NBA have released any sort of comment on the matter.