MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More reaction from the Jewish community on Wednesday following Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard anti-Semitic slur.
Leonard could face sanctions from the NBA, but one prominent Jewish athlete is extending an olive branch instead.READ MORE: 'I Am A Conqueror': UFC Fighter, Miami Native Jorge Masvidal's Rise To Success, Sights On UFC Gold
Julian Edelman, a guy Dolphin fans know quite well, wrote an open letter to Leonard after the Heat’s center landed in hot water after he spewed a slur during a stream of obscenities over a live stream during a videogame.
The New England wide receiver is inviting Leonard out to dinner, saying he believes the Heat’s player spoke more out of ignorance than hate.
Nevertheless, Edelman writes, “hate is like a virus, even accidentally it can spread.”
The Miami Heat condemned what he said, adding that Leonard, who is out for the season, would be away from the team indefinitely.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra offered no excuse Wednesday for Leonard’s use of an anti-Semitic slur.
“He said something that was extremely distasteful and hurtful,” Spoelstra said. “And we’re left with the aftermath of that.”
Spoelstra has spoken with Leonard, as have other team officials.READ MORE: No Appointment Needed Now At Most Broward Drive-Thru Vaccine Sites
“We can’t tolerate that here,” Heat captain and 18-year veteran Udonis Haslem said of the usage of the slur. “Right is right and wrong is wrong. And since I’ve been here in this organization, to the day I leave this organization and beyond, we’re going to try to be on the right side of everything — especially issues like this.”
Haslem was asked if Leonard ever used language around him that was offensive.
“No, sir,” Haslem said. “I’ve never heard him use any language that made me uncomfortable at all.”
Meantime, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is offering him some sensitivity training.
“It’s really just not OK. It’s not acceptable in this day and age for this kind of hatred, intolerance, bigotry, to be given a free and open voice. So, when a person like a star center or a backup center, it kind of gives permission to the people who follow him,” said Jacob Solomon of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
“We would be very pleased to meet with Mr. Leonard, to provide resources, educational resources, to have him visit the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach.”
If recent NBA history is any guide, Leonard could be fined or suspended for at least one game.
In his case, that would cost them about $115,000. Leonard makes more than $9 million a year. He could appeal anything that comes down the pipe.MORE NEWS: 2 People, Dog Shot By Man Who Got Into Gun Battle With Officers In Hialeah Gardens
No word if Leonard will take up those offers to get some sensitivity training.