The NBA is looking into recent comments made by a basketball player during a video game stream.
According to Complex, Meyers Leonard was playing a game of Call of Duty when he spewed an anti-Semitic slur. “Fucking cowards. Don’t fucking snipe me! You fucking kike bitch,” he said on the platform where he has over 69,000 followers.
The basketball league has since gotten wind of Leonard’s use of words “and are in the process of gathering more information,” per NBA spokesperson Mike Bass who clarified, “The NBA unequivocally condemns all forms of hate speech.”
As Complex reported, Leonard initially shared his plans to go live today (March 9) and give away Astro Gaming headsets to his followers, but in the wake of the incident, he deleted the post of the announcement and has already lost his gaming sponsorship with ORIGIN PC, according to sports talk show host Andy Slater.
In the wake of the backlash surrounding his use of an anti-Semitic slur, Leonard issued an apology for his remarks.
“I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday. While I didn’t know what the word meant at the time, my ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse, and I was just wrong,” he wrote. “...I acknowledge my own mistake, and there’s no running from something like this that is so hurtful to someone else...I promise to do better and know that my future actions will be more powerful than the use of this word.
Leonard is not a stranger to controversy regarding actions and use of words. Last year, when NBA players dedicated their time in the bubble to the fight against systemic racism and police brutality, the athlete donned a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, but decided to stand as all other coaches and members of his team kneeled in solidarity during the National Anthem.
“Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,” he told the Associated Press of his decision to remain standing. “I am with the Black Lives Matter movement, and I love and support the military and my brother, and the people who have fought to defend our rights in this country.”
“I am a compassionate human being and I truly love all people. I can’t fully comprehend how our world, literally and figuratively, has turned into Black and white,” Leonard went on. “There’s a line in the sand, so to speak: ‘If you’re not kneeling, you’re not with us.’ And that’s not true. I will continue to use my platform, my voice and my actions to show how much I care about the African American culture and for everyone. I live my life to serve and impact others in a positive way.”
Meyers Leonard says racial slurs while playing CoD pic.twitter.com/WHwUnbV0pR— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) March 9, 2021
SLATER SCOOP: Meyers Leonard’s gaming sponsorship has been cancelled, a source tells me.— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) March 9, 2021
The computer company, ORIGIN PC, made the move after the Heat player used an anti-Semitic slur online.