NBA fines Meyers Leonard $50,000 for using antisemitic slur

(JTA) – The NBA fined Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard $50,000 two days after he was caught saying the word “kike” on a video game stream. NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, said Leonard spoke Wednesday with Anti-Defamation League officials, the Associated Press reported, “to better understand the impact of his words. “We accept that he is genuinely remorseful,” Silver added on Thursday.

After the video clip circulated widely on social media, Leonard apologized to the Jewish community and specifically to the Heat’s Jewish owner Micky Arison. He said that he was ignorant of what the word meant. Leonard is already missing the rest of this season with a shoulder injury but has also been placed on an indefinite leave of absence.

“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 in a statement.

Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman posted an open letter to Leonard on social media on Wednesday, saying “casual ignorance” can be more dangerous than hate and inviting him to a Shabbat dinner.

Main Photo: Meyers Leonard in a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Jan. 12, 2020. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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