Heat center Meyers Leonard will be out of the squad indefinitely after using an anti-Semitic slur during a recent video game live broadcast.
Leonard delivered the insult on his Twitch live stream while playing “Call of Duty: Warzone” on Monday. A clip of that feed hit social media Tuesday, causing a backlash online and forcing Leonard, the Heat and the NBA to respond to his comments.
Here’s how the situation involving Leonard started and the latest news on his status with the Heat.
What happened on Meyers Leonard’s Twitch stream?
During his Monday night Twitch stream, Leonard was heard saying the K-word, a derogatory term used against the Jewish people. (For those who don’t know the word, The Baltimore Jewish Times has a breakdown of various anti-Semitic slurs and their origins.)
“F-ing cowards,” Leonard said. “Don’t f-ing snipe me, you f-ing k-b-.”
(Warning: shocking language in the video below.)
Leonard, an avid gamer, was hosting another “Call of Duty: Warzone” feed on Tuesday when the clip surfaced on social media. Defector’s Patrick Redford noted that Leonard’s flow chat room began to fill with messages about the insult. Moderators attempted to suppress some of these messages and ban viewers, ultimately going into “emote-only mode”. (Emoticons are basically Twitch’s version of emoticons or emoticons.)
In the middle of that feed on Tuesday, Leonard said his wife, Elle, had called him and needed him. He then abruptly stopped playing.
Several game companies have since ended their partnerships with Leonard, and Twitch banned Leonard from broadcasting on the platform.
“We do not allow the use of hate speech on Twitch,” said a spokesperson for the company. by Jacob Wolf of Dot Sports. “The safety of our community is our top priority and, in accordance with our guidelines, we reserve the right to suspend any account for conduct we deem inappropriate, harmful or endangering our community.”
How did Meyers Leonard react?
Leonard issued apologies on Instagram hours after his comments were revealed. This statement in its entirety:
I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slurs during a live broadcast yesterday. Even though I didn’t know what the word meant at the time, my ignorance of its history and offensiveness to the Jewish community is absolutely no excuse and I was simply wrong. I am now more aware of its meaning and am committed to properly looking for people who can help me educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it.
I admit and I admit my mistake and there is no way to run away from something like this that is so hurtful to someone else. This is not a correct representation of who I am and I would like to apologize to the Arisons, my teammates, coaches, front office and everyone associated with the Miami Heat organization, my family, our loyalists. fans and other members of the Jewish group. community that I hurt. I promise to do better and I know my future actions will be more powerful than my use of this word.
How did the Heat and the NBA react?
The heat issued a statement Tuesday evening, saying the team “vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech”.
“The words Meyers Leonard used were false and we will not tolerate any hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise,” the statement said. “Hearing that from a Miami Heat player is particularly disappointing and hurtful for everyone who works here, as well as for the larger communities of South Florida, the Miami Heat and the NBA.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said on Tuesday that the league was in the process of collecting more information and “Unequivocally condemns all forms of hate speech”.
What is Meyers Leonard’s status with The Heat?
Leonard will be out of the Heat indefinitely and Miami plans to cooperate fully with the NBA while it conducts an investigation. As of Wednesday morning, it was unclear whether the league would fine and / or suspend Leonard for his comments.
The 29-year-old tall had only appeared three games this season before suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery. Leonard is one year older on his current contract, but he could enter free agency this summer because his deal includes a team option for next season valued at $ 10.1 million.
Financial for Meyers Leonard and the Miami Heat:
🏀 A $ 4.8 million disabled player exception is still available if Leonard is canceled (lose him if traded)
💰 Owes $ 4.18 million of his salary of $ 9.4 million
🏀 Post deadline: can only be traded during the offseason if their $ 10.1M team option is exercised
– Bobby Brands (@ BobbyMarks42) March 10, 2021