MIAMI (AP) – Meyers Leonard’s coach and Miami Heat team-mates on Wednesday offered no excuse for using anti-Semitic video live streaming earlier this week as they tried to hide their frustration with their first public outcry. Comments on the incident.
“He said something very tasteless and harmful,” said heat trainer Eric Spoelstra. “And we are left with the consequences.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Leonard’s use of noise began to circulate widely on social media. Within hours, he apologized, the NBA launched an investigation, and the Heat announced that he would be out of the team indefinitely.
His season had already ended due to a shoulder injury. It is too late to say that his fever may be over.
“There can be traces of words,” said Spoelstra. “And those were extremely offensive words.”
On Wednesday, the Heat returned to work to end their All-Star break. The team opens the second half schedule on Thursday against Orlando. Spoelstra spoke to Leonard, as did other team officials.
“Myers has been a really good teammate,” said Spoelstra. “He is a good man.”
Leonard publicly apologized, saying he did not know what the noise he was using meant. The NBA is investigating whether Leonard could be fined or suspended once the investigation is completed.
“We can’t stand it here,” said Udonis Haslem, a heat captain and 18-year-old veteran of the noise use. “Right is right and wrong is wrong. And since I have been here in this organization, until I leave this organization, beyond that, we will try to be on the right side of everything, especially on issues like this. ”
Haslem was asked if Leonard had ever used abusive language around him.
“No, sir,” said Haslem. “I have never heard him use any language that made me uncomfortable at all.”
The video received responses from league officials, other team members, celebrities and even athletes in other sports.
New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman, who has openly acknowledged his Jewish heritage, sent a letter to Leonard on social media saying he did it to offer a perspective. Edelman said he was often in Miami and invited Leonard to meet with Shabbat’s dinner friends.
“I feel that you did not use that word out of hatred, more out of ignorance,” Edelman wrote. “Most likely, you were not trying to offend anyone or even profile Jews in your comments. That’s what makes it so destructive. When someone intends to hate, it is usually met with great resistance. It’s hard to fight against accidental ignorance, it has a bigger impact, especially when you have a big impact. ”
Spoelstra has repeatedly been praised for Leonard’s work ethic և efforts with the team during the year and a half at the 7-meter center.
Those days are long gone.
“Intent is impossible,” said Spoelstra. “It simply’s not right.”
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