Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard was fined $50,000 and suspended from facilities and team activities for one week for using an anti-Semitic slur.
The NBA announced the decision Thursday, although the on-court impact for the Heat is negligible; Leonard is out for the season with a shoulder injury.
“He said something that was extremely distasteful and hurtful,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday. “And we’re left with the aftermath of that.”
Spoelstra said he read Leonard’s Instagram apology and then spoke to the former University of Illinois center acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers prior to last season.
“It doesn’t matter the intent. It’s not right,” Spoelstra said.
Team captain Udonis Haslem said players had never heard that type of language from Leonard.
“We can’t tolerate that here,” Haslem said. “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.”
Leonard was the only member of the team who opted to stand for the national anthem during games inside the NBA “bubble” last summer near Orlando, but teammates said they supported his decision. Leonard continues the pregame practice of standing while the rest of the roster has opted to kneel to bring attention to racial and social equality missions.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)