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Lakers ‘to work out Meyers Leonard’ two years after he was suspended for using an anti-Jewish slur

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly plan to work out Meyers Leonard two years after he was suspended and required to meet with Jewish leaders for using an anti-Jewish slur during a video game live stream. 

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Leonard will work out Friday for the injury-ravaged Lakers, who are still without All-Star Anthony Davis (foot).

The former Miami Heat center’s absence from the NBA may not be strictly due to his use of the anti-Jewish slur. Leonard has only recently been cleared to play following a series of ankle and shoulder surgeries, according to Charania. 

The Lakers did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

 

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly plan to work out Meyers Leonard , the former Miami Heat center who has been out of the league since he was heard using an anti-Jewish slur during a video game live stream 

As for his standing in the league, Leonard is cleared to return. 

‘[He] spent time with Jewish leaders and immersed himself in the Jewish community over the last couple years — which the league has been aware of,’ Charania tweeted. 

Leonard has been away from the NBA since March of 2021 after a video surfaced of him using an anti-Semitic slur while livestreaming a video game on the website, Twitch.

‘F***ing cowards,’ Leonard, 30, is heard saying during the ‘Call of Duty’ live stream. ‘Don’t f***ing snipe me, you f***ing k*** b****.’

He apologized for the incident, which was roundly criticized by the Heat, Jewish groups and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who fined Leonard $50,000 and barred him from being around the Heat for one week. The team had previously said Leonard would be away from the team indefinitely.

The 30-year-old Leonard was playing 'Call of Duty' on the website, Twitch, when he was caught saying 'k***' - a derogatory term for a Jewish person

The 30-year-old Leonard was playing ‘Call of Duty’ on the website, Twitch, when he was caught saying ‘k***’ – a derogatory term for a Jewish person

Leonard, who was injured at the time, was traded in a salary dump to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but did not suit up for the team.

Silver did say that he believes Leonard ‘is genuinely remorseful’ for using the slur.

‘Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,’ Silver said at the time.

Leonard was required by the league to participate in a cultural diversity program. He also met with representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish organization that works to stop extremism and delivers anti-bias education.

The Heat are owned by Israeli-American businessman Micky Arison (pictured)

The Heat are owned by Israeli-American businessman Micky Arison (pictured) 

Leonard released a statement following the incident claiming he didn’t know what the word meant.

‘I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during the 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.

‘I am now more aware of its meaning and I am committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it. I acknowledge and own my mistake an there’s no running from something like this that is so hurtful to someone else.

‘This is not a proper representation of who I am and I want to apologize to [Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and his family], my teammates, coaches, front office, and everyone associated with the Miami Heat organization, to my family, to our loyal fans and to others in the Jewish community who I have hurt.

‘I promise to do better and know that my future actions will be more powerful than my use of this word.’

Leonard released a statement in 2021 claiming he didn't know what the word meant

Leonard released a statement in 2021 claiming he didn’t know what the word meant

Former New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, reached out to Leonard on social media and offered to meet with him.

‘I get the sense that you didn’t use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance,’ Edelman wrote. ‘Most likely, you weren’t trying to hurt anyone or even profile Jews in your comment. That’s what makes it so destructive. When someone intends to be hateful, it’s usually met with great resistance.

‘Casual ignorance is harder to combat and has greater reach, especially when you command great influence. Hate is like a virus. Even accidentally, it can rapidly spread.

Edelman (pictured) didn't think Leonard had any harmful intent, but said he showed 'casual ignorance' which is more dangerous

Edelman (pictured) didn’t think Leonard had any harmful intent, but said he showed ‘casual ignorance’ which is more dangerous

‘I’m down in Miami fairly often. Let’s do a Shabbat dinner with some friends. I’ll show you a fun time.’

Leonard is not well known beyond basketball fans, but gained some nationwide notoriety during the NBA’s 2019-20 season restart in Orlando when he decided to stand for the national anthem as his Miami teammates knelt to protest racism.

He explained his decision in August of 2020, saying that he could be a patriot while supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,’ Leonard told The Associated Press prior to a game inside the league bubble in Orlando. ‘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.’

The 7-foot former University of Illinois star was taken with the 11th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by Portland, where he played most of his career.

Leonard has earned nearly $60 million over nine NBA seasons, the last two of which came in Miami.

Meyers Leonard stands with kneeling teammates during the national anthem before an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on September 8

Meyers Leonard stands with kneeling teammates during the national anthem before an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Miami Heat on September 8



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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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