On Tuesday March 9th, Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard emphatically streamed Call of Duty on streaming platform Twitch. In a sentence that included lots of profane language, the NBA big man called a fellow gamer a “k*ke b*tch”, in a very nonchalant manner.
Soon after, Meyers ended the stream abruptly and has not yet issued his own statement. It is clear that he did not know the magnitude of his statement.
The situation is playing out to be eerily similar to controversy from last summer surrounding Desean Jackson, the Eagles wide receiver who posted a picture of a false Hitler quote displaying anti-Semitic rhetoric. Ignorance is widespread and these are only two of the public examples in the sports world. Outside of sports, it is sadly a much bigger issue, but in the sports world especially, there cannot be any more place for it.
Sports are more than just a game. From the fans to the players, it is a culmination of different cultures and people with different struggles. Yet everyone is united under one common thing: the love of the game. Meyers Leonard undoubtedly had Jewish fans; he undoubtedly has Jewish coworkers. They all are different people, yet they all love the sport. For him to use a word with that much hate attached to it cannot be allowed. Sports are for everyone who has the love to be involved, and no one should be excluded due to one man’s ignorance.
The Miami Heat, the NBA, and all of the sports worlds should work together to educate everyone involved, and steer themselves away from the dangerous pattern this Meyers Leonard’s comment is apart of.