The NBA hit Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard with a $50,000 fine and a one-week suspension from all Heat facilities and team activities for an anti-Semitic slur used during a Twitch stream of Call of Duty earlier this week. Leonard must also take part in a cultural diversity program.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released this statement on the matter:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement regarding Meyers Leonard. pic.twitter.com/tCphjd1Rab
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) March 11, 2021
The $50,000 fine was the largest one Leonard could get in this situation, per the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
The Heat center made the comment on Monday, but the video of it went viral on Tuesday and resulted in the Heat reviewing the matter. The comment in question:
“F****** cowards, don’t f****** snipe at me you f****** k*** b****”
After facing plenty of backlash on social media, Leonard gave an apology and claimed ignorance of the meaning of the anti-Semitic slur in question, which only garnered even more backlash.
Heat veteran Udonis Haslem opened up on the controversy on Wednesday and condemned the remarks, though he also said he has never heard Leonard say anything like that around him.
Leonard is currently out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in January. He’s owed $9.4 million this season and then holds a team option worth over $10 million in 2021-22. It wasn’t certain Miami would bring him back before this incident, and this won’t help his cause.
The Heat could look to use Leonard’s salary in a trade before the March 25 deadline, which could then lead to his release by the acquiring team. The 29-year-old has the right to veto any trade because of his contract status.