Meyers Leonard Signs First NBA Contract Since Jewish Slur Controversy

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One forgotten NBA role player is getting a second chance in the league, two years after an antisemitic slur got him booted indefinitely.

Former Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard, 30, has signed a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Leonard’s signing comes nearly two years since he last played in the NBA. During a video game livestream in March 2021, Leonard dropped an anti-Jewish term, later admitting he had no idea what it meant.

“F***ing cowards. Don’t f***ing snipe me, you f***ing k*** b****,” Leonard said during his stream of Call of Duty. Moments after he said the slur, Leonard received a phone call and abruptly ended the gaming session.

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Following the backlash from his use of the slur, Leonard was banned from all Miami Heat activities for a week. He was also fined $50,000 and was required to meet with Jewish community members and the Anti-Defamation League.

As recently as January, Leonard had been accruing interest from various teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers.

The LakeShow hosted Leonard for a workout, alongside Demarcus Cousins, but never reached a deal with either big man.


“I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday,” Leonard wrote in an apologetic statement. “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.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver detailed his meeting with Leonard after the slur.

“Yesterday, he spoke to representatives of the Anti-Defamation League to better understand the impact of his words, and we accept that he is genuinely remorseful,” Silver said.

“We have further communicated to Meyers that derogatory comments like this will not be tolerated and that he will be expected to uphold the core values of our league – equality, tolerance, inclusion and respect – at all times moving forward.”

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Written by Alejandro Avila

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