Heat big Meyers Leonard used an anti-Semitic slur then apologized.
The Miami Heat condemned his statement, now the NBA has come down with a punishment. Here’s the NBA release:
Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard has been fined $50,000 and suspended from all Heat facilities and team activities for one week for an anti-Semitic comment he made Monday, March 8, the NBA announced today. Leonard will also be required to participate in a cultural diversity program. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement:
“Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society. Yesterday, he spoke to representatives of the Anti-Defamation League to better understand the impact of his words and we accept that he is genuinely remorseful. 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.”
This seems like a reasonable outcome. It’s roughly in line with similar prior incidents.
The one-week suspension is far longer than usual, but Leonard is out with a season-ending injury. Suspending him for a game, rather than an amount of time from team facilities and activities, would have been complicated.
What Leonard said was wrong. Now, the most important thing is he – and anyone else watching this episode – learns from it.