Meyers Leonard, as of this moment a member of the Miami Heat, had a very bad heated gaming moment Monday night, when he shouted an antisemitic slur while playing Call of Duty: Warzone online. Leonard was streaming on his Twitch channel at the time, and though it took most of a day for the moment to gain traction as news—Leonard is normally a long way from the sphere of attention of even committed NBA fans—it has since become the kind of thing that every NBA news blog will need to acknowledge.
Meeting this call of duty was Dan Feldman, a generally reliable aggregator of hoops news for NBC Sports’ Pro Basketball Talk, and a delightful regular on a bunch of NBA podcasts. For a guy who spends his days methodically unpacking trade rumors and hunting around for interesting tidbits in otherwise dreary and robotic post-game Zoom pressers, an active player emphatically deploying hate speech during a live broadcast should be an absolute layup of a blog. And yet:
Leonard used an offensive word. He shouldn’t have done that.Dan Feldman, NBC Sports
[…] it’s also worth keeping perspective. This wasn’t violence. Unlike Stephen Jackson, Leonard didn’t promote a wider anti-Semitic worldview. Leonard didn’t directly harm anyone.Dan Feldman, NBC Sports
He shouldn’t face extreme consequences for this single utterance.
The angle here appears to be Meyers Leonard Caught On Video Being Not As Antisemitic As Other People. And then there’s the kicker to this bizarre, poorly argued blog:
Leonard, who raised his profile by standing for the national anthem in the bubble, is out with a season-ending injury. His contract (middling salary, final guaranteed season) could prove useful in a trade.Dan Feldman, NBC Sports
There are just 129 words in this blog, but somehow several dozen too many. Feldman did not confine his insights to the blog arena:
You don’t say.
Update (5:50 p.m. ET): NBC Sports deleted several dozen words from Feldman’s blog, and I’m sure you can guess which ones.