UPDATE:</u? The Miami Heat released this statement on Tuesday night.
“The Miami Heat vehemently condemn the use of any form of hate speech. The words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise. To hear it from a Miami Heat player is especially disappointing and hurtful to all those who work here, as well as the larger South Florida, Miami Heat and NBA communities.
“Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely. The Miami Heat will cooperate with the NBA while it conducts its investigation.”
Leonard is out for the season due to shoulder surgery.
Miami center Meyers Leonard has taken to Instagram to apologize for an anti-Semitic slur he used while livestreaming himself playing video games.
Leonard said he did not know what the word meant or why it was considered a slur.
The Miami Heat have said they are looking into the incident but have yet to make a formal statement. The NBA League office also said it was investigating the matter and added, “The NBA unequivocally condemns all forms of hate speech.”
Leonard used the word during a livestream he had set up himself on Twitch, where he was playing Call of Duty. Here is a video of the incident (Warning: NSFW due to profanity):
Meyers Leonard says racial slurs while playing CoD pic.twitter.com/WHwUnbV0pR
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) March 9, 2021
F***ing cowards. Don’t f***ing snipe me, you k*** b****.
The backlash was pretty swift, with Leonard eventually ending his livestream as word had gotten out.
Leonard has been sidelined for the season following left shoulder surgery. He is making $9.4 million this season with a team option for $10.2 million next season (which is unlikely to be picked up, making him a free agent). If the Heat made a trade at the deadline, it is possible Leonard would be part of it to balance out salaries.