Publish date:

Heat's Meyers Leonard Away From Team Indefinitely as NBA Probes Center Saying Antisemitic Slur

Miami center Meyers Leonard will be away indefinitely following his use of an antisemitic slur while playing Call of Duty during a Twitch stream video that surfaced on social media Tuesday afternoon. 

The organization released a statement Tuesday night, saying it "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 statement read. "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.

"Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely. The Miami Heat will cooperate with the NBA while it conducts its investigation."

On the video that surfaced on social media, Leonard can be heard saying, “F------ cowards, don’t f------ snipe at me you f------ k--- b----.”

SI Recommends

Leonard issued an apology Tuesday evening, saying he was deeply sorry for using the slur during the live stream and not knowing what the word meant.

"My ignorance about history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong," Leonard said. "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.

"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."

Leonard, 29, has nearly 70,000 followers on Twitch. He was in the midst of streaming on Tuesday when the clip surfaced on Twitter and went viral.

Around the NBA, Leonard is an avid streamer. In April 2020 he streamed himself playing Call of Duty for 26 hours as part of a fundraiser, raising over $45,000 for Feeding America, an organization of more than 200 food banks.