(JTA) – The NBA fined Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard $50,000 two days after he was caught saying the word “kike” on a video game stream.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is Jewish, said Leonard spoke March 10, with Anti-Defamation League officials, the Associated Press reported, “to better understand the impact of his words.”
Silver added, “We accept that he is genuinely remorseful.”
After the video clip circulated widely on social media, Leonard apologized to the Jewish community and specifically to the Heat’s Jewish owner Micky Arison. He said that he was ignorant of what the word meant.
Leonard is already missing the rest of this season with a shoulder injury, but has also been placed on an indefinite leave of absence. He is officially suspended for one week of team activities and will also be forced to participate in a “cultural diversity program.”
“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,” Silver said in a statement.
Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots posted an open letter to Leonard on social media on Wednesday, March 10, saying “casual ignorance” can be more dangerous than hate and inviting him to a Shabbat dinner.