Anti-Semitic Slurs Suspend Heat Center Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard Suspended

The NBA suspended Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard for one-week and fined him $50,000 for Anti-Semitic slurs comments h recently made. While playing the popular multiplayer game Call of Duty Meyers Leonard used the term “K*** B****” on stream.

The term “K***” was a common insult for Jews in the early 20th century. The derogatory slang has its origins among Jews entering Ellis Island.  As a result of not knowing the Latin alphabet they signed their entry forms with a circle instead of the customary X. Kikel is the word for circle in Yiddish and it was used by American immigration inspectors with those Jewish immigrants.

The NBA also requires Leonard to participate in a cultural diversity program because of his words. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver responded to the Anti-Semitic remarks with a zero tolerance policy.

Leonard’s Statement

Leonard released this apology statement earlier this week.

Erik Spoelstra’s Reaction

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Leonard’s teammates also reacted to the comments he made after the Heat suspended the player indefinitely.

While Spoelstra acknowledged the fact that Leonard felt sorry for his comments, he also stated actions have consequences. Long-time Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem was also among players upset with the comments. the former Gator star said in an interview how close he was with his Jewish friends.

“I have a lot of Jewish friends and ya know, they call me Udonis Haslem-berg sometimes,” he said.

Leonard is not an important part of the Miami Heat rotation. He’s only played three games this season, starting two. While the Heat started off the season slowly they’ve been one of the hottest teams entering the All-Star break. They’ve won seven out of the last eight games before facing the Orlando Magic on Thursday.

About Ethan Sanabria

Ethan Sanabria is a second-year telecommunications student on the digital film and television production track at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. He has previously worked as a broadcaster for the Florida Flight basketball team and currently helps the production of WUFT news facebook lives. You can reach Ethan on any of his social media or at Ethansanabria@ufl.edu.

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