Meyers Leonard of the Miami Heat has been suspended from his team. The center had used anti-Semitic words during a video game in a live stream on Twitch on Monday.
“The words of Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not accept this hateful language in our franchise, regardless of who,” said the team in a statement. “Meyers Leonard will not be with our team for the time being. The Miami Heat will support the NBA during their investigation.”
The NBA announced a few hours after the clip went viral that it would investigate the incident and gather information. “The NBA condemns all forms of hate speech,” a spokesman for the league was quoted as saying by Tim Reynolds (AP). Among other things, the heat center had uttered the word “Kike”, an anti-Semitic word.
Meyers Leonard also spoke up in the meantime and apologized for his words via Instagram. Accordingly, he did not know how insulting the word he used in his live stream was. “My ignorance of not knowing how offensive this word is to the Jewish community is no excuse. I made a mistake,” wrote the 29-year-old.
Leonard will no longer appear for the Heat this season anyway, as he is out of action for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. The center previously only played three games and will become a free agent this summer after Miami signed the Big Man on a $ 10 million one-year deal in November.