On Tuesday, Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard was caught shouting an anti-Semitic slur while playing Call of Duty during a Twitch stream. Shortly after saying the slur, he received a phone call and quickly ended his stream. Leonard quickly lost some of his gaming sponsors, including Scuf and Origin PC, and the Heat put him on indefinite leave.
Leonard apologizes on Instagram, explaining in the post that he “didn’t know what the word meant at the time” and that he is “committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it.”
Patriots’ wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, shared an open letter to Leonard on social media on Wednesday afternoon. Edelman explained that he didn’t get the sense that Leonard used the word “out of hate, but “more out of ignorance.” He also told Leonard the two should link up the next time he’s in Miami and do a Shabbat dinner.
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) March 10, 2021
This isn’t the first time Edelman has offered to educate a high-profile athlete following the use of anti-Semitic remarks.
In July of 2020, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted an anti-Semitic quote attributed to Hitler. Edelman shared a video in which he invited Jackson on a trip to D.C. to visit The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and said Jackson could then take him to the National Museum of African American History and Culture before having an “uncomfortable conversation.”