NBA’s Meyers Leonard suspended by Miami Heat over anti-Semitic slur

Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard has been placed on indefinite leave by the club after using an anti-Semitic slur while streaming his video-game play.

The club says the 29-year-old will “be away from the team indefinitely” after footage of the incident on Monday emerged.

“The Miami Heat vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech,” the club says in a statement. “The words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise.”

Leonard, who has played only three games for Miami this season and is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign after undergoing shoulder surgery, issued an apology for his remarks.

Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard (0) cheers on the team from the sideline during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game against the Boston Celtics on September 19, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday,” Leonard said in a statement on Instagram. “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.”

Leonard was heard saying “kike” while playing a video game on the Twitch streaming platform, which allows gamers to talk to each other.

“Don’t f***ing snipe me, you f***ing kike bitch,” Leonard, 29, said while playing the game “Call of Duty,” as shown in a video clip.