Meyers Leonard, a reserve center for the Miami Heat, was fined $ 50,000 and suspended for a week after a clip went viral showed him using an anti-Semitic profanity while playing a video game on a public live broadcast.
“Meyers Leonard’s remarks are inexplicable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” said Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, in a statement. Notice of penalties. “Yesterday, he spoke with the Anti-Defamation League representative to better understand the impact of his words and we accept that he does indeed regret it.”
The statement went on, “We further informed Meyers that such offensive comments will not be tolerated and that he will be expected to uphold the core values of their alliance. I – equal, tolerant, inclusive and respectful – always move forward “
Leonard, a 29-year-old game enthusiast, is playing “Call of Duty: Warzone”, a popular multiplayer video game, on Twitch, a live streaming platform, as he says that. He also said a sexist vulgarity in his comment, after another player tried to kill his character in the game. The video was recorded on Monday, but the clip did not go viral on social media until Tuesday.
The condemnation of Leonard was quick, with Heat suspended him indefinitely on Tuesday and the Anti-defamation League said in a statement on Twitter that it was “shocking and disappointing” to see Leonard use the profanity “ugly, insulting”.
Leonard apologized on Tuesday for a while statement posted to Instagram.
He said that he was “extremely sorry” for using the grunt, and he didn’t know what the word meant at the time.
“I admit and own my mistakes and there is no such thing as running after something that would hurt others like this,” Leonard said. “This is not an exact representation of who I am.”
On Wednesday, more criticism came from inside Heat.
Erik Spoelstra, Heat’s coach, told reporters that Leonard’s words were “disgusting and damaging.”
“We know Meyers. Meyers was a really good teammate, ”said Spoelstra. “He’s a good man. He said something extremely annoying and hurtful. And we have the consequences after that. Obviously we do not tolerate that.
Udonis Haslem, who has been playing for Heat for almost two decades, said of Leonard: “We can’t stand it here. Right is right and wrong is wrong. And since I am here in this organization, until the day I leave this organization and beyond, we will try to be on the right side of everything – especially on matters like this. “
Haslem added that he “had never heard him use any language that annoyed me before.”
Leonard, who has only played three games this season, his ninth in the league, is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder surgery last month. He’s making around $ 9.4 million this year, with a team selection for next season. He has been on the bench for most of his career but started most of Heat’s games last year.
After the clip of him talking nonsense went viral, Twitch suspended his channel and several game companies to which he was affiliated denounced him.
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FaZe Clan, an esports team that Leonard invested two years ago, said they had severed ties with him, though it’s not clear what that means because Leonard is an investor. Other companies, such as Origin PC and Scuf Gaming, both owned by hardware companies Corsair and Astro Gaming, which have the gaming headsets Leonard donated as an ad, also said they were terminated. Relationship with him.