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NBA fines Meyers Leonard $50,000 over anti-Semitic slur

League commissioner says Miami Heat player spoke with ADL representatives ‘to better understand the impact of his words and we accept that he is genuinely remorseful’

Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard, center, greets his teammates before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, December 29, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)
Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard, center, greets his teammates before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, December 29, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA has fined Meyers Leonard $50,000 and suspended him from all Miami Heat facilities and activities for one week, in response to his use of an anti-Semitic term.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the sanctions Thursday, two days after the video began circulating on social media.

“Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” Silver said.

Leonard apologized for using the term, insisting he did not know what it meant when he used it Monday. The Heat learned of the matter Tuesday, and Leonard’s future with the team is now in serious doubt. He will not play again this season because of a shoulder injury.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to reporters during a news conference, in New York, October 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Silver said Leonard spoke Wednesday “to representatives of the Anti-Defamation League to better understand the impact of his words and we accept that he is genuinely remorseful.”

“We have further communicated to Meyers that derogatory comments like this will not be tolerated and that he will be expected to uphold the core values of our league — equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect — at all times moving forward,” Silver said.

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