The fallout has come swiftly for Meyers Leonard, in both the basketball and gaming worlds. Since the Miami Heat center yelled an antisemitic slur while streaming Call of Duty: Warzone on Monday, he’s been suspended by the NBA, dropped by two gaming hardware sponsors, and banned from Twitch.
After the clip circulated Tuesday while Leonard was hosting another Warzone stream, the NBA said it would conduct an investigation, which somehow took longer than 10 minutes. Today the league announced Leonard would be fined $50,000 and suspended from all team facilities and activities for a week; the second part is essentially meaningless since Leonard is out for the season with a shoulder injury. As ESPN’s Malika Andrews noted, that amount’s a lot lower than the $324,000 in lost game checks Leonard would have ceded if he were healthy.
Leonard issued an apology Tuesday night, writing that while he did not know what the word meant when he yelled it, “my ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong.”
During a presser Wednesday, some of Leonard’s peers discussed what he had done. “From the bottom of my heart and this organization, we apologize,” said Miami Heat lifer Udonis Haslem. “That won’t be tolerated here. We’re going to be on the right side of these things moving forward.” Haslem added that he reached out to people in the Jewish community.
Leonard’s teammate Andre Iguodala offered a path forward. “It’s up to him to try to right this wrong and figure himself out,” he said. “He’s put a lot of work in to become a professional basketball player, so he has it in him to put that work in on himself to educate himself.”