Three-time Super Bowl champion Julian Edelman has written an open letter to NBA star Meyers Leonard following Leonard's use of an anti-Semitic slur during a recent video game live stream. Leonard was slammed for his horrific comments and the Miami Heat also suspended him indefinitely as the NBA currently continues to conduct its investigation into the matter. Leonard quickly issued an apology for his statements during the live stream and Patriots wide receiver Edelman, who is Jewish, is now keen to explain to Meyers why his language was dangerous and hurtful. In his letter, Edelman also invited Meyers to a Shabbat dinner at his home the next time he is in Miami.
In a video that surfaced on social media earlier this week, Leonard was heard using the word 'kike' while playing an online video game on the streaming platform Twitch. The word is a derogatory term for a Jewish person and the NBA star was quickly slammed by netizens after the video clip went viral. The Miami Heat also confirmed that Leonard would be "away from the team indefinitely" after footage of the incident appeared on Monday. He signed a two-year, $19.5 million contract in November to return to the team as a free agent, recently purchasing a home in Miami.
Leonard immediately issued an apology for his use of the derogatory comment and claimed that it was simply "wrong". The 29-year-old also vowed to "do better" in the future and admitted he was seeking help from those who could properly educate him on the word. Leonard concluded by stating that he had no intention to spread hate.
On Wednesday, Patriots star Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, wrote an open letter to Leonard only days after the NBA player's controversial comments. Edelman took to Twitter and revealed that he didn't want to add to Leonard's criticism and rather offer him a perspective on why his comments were hurtful.
Edelman acknowledged that Meyers had no intention of spreading hate but made the comment out of ignorance. He wrote, "I get the sense that you didn't use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance. 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." Towards the end, Edelman also invited Leonard to a Shabbat dinner the next time he is in Miami so they could talk.