The NBA has fined Meyers Leonard $ 50,000 and suspended him from all Miami Heat facilities and activities for a week in response to his use of an anti-Semitic slur.
MIAMI – The NBA fined Meyers Leonard $ 50,000, the maximum allowed by league policy, and suspended him from using all Miami Heat facilities and activities for a week in response to his use of an anti-Semitic term.
Commissioner Adam Silver, announcing those penalties Thursday, also said he believes Leonard “is really sorry” for using the insult.
“Meyers Leonard’s comment was unforgivable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” Silver said.
The league will also require Leonard to participate in a cultural diversity program. He has already met with representatives of the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish organization that works to stop extremism and provides anti-prejudice education.
“Additionally, we have communicated to Meyers that derogatory comments like this will not be tolerated and that he is expected to uphold our league’s core values - equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect – at all times in the future,” Silver said.
It was not immediately clear how the sanctions issued by the NBA would affect Leonard’s position with the team going forward. The Heat, a few hours after the video came out, said Leonard would be out of the team indefinitely.
They issued another statement Thursday, several hours after Silver announced the sanctions.
“While we remain hurt and disappointed by what he said, we are encouraged that Meyers has begun to take steps to learn why his comments were so offensive,” the Heat statement said. “We will continue to communicate with Meyers and his representatives as long as he stays away from the team.”
Leonard apologized Tuesday for using the term, insisting he didn’t know what it meant when he used it the day before. The video drew strong reprimands from league officials, members of other teams, celebrities, and even athletes from other sports.
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