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#pounditThursday, December 2, 2021

Meyers Leonard details threats he received after using anti-Semitic slur

Meyers Leonard

Meyers Leonard received a great deal of backlash earlier this year after he used a racial slur during a video game streaming session, and the former first-round pick says there were some people who threatened to kill him.

Leonard was fined and suspended by the NBA in March over his use of an anti-Semitic slur. He was then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and waived, and he has been a free agent since. TMZ caught up with Leonard this week, and he revealed that he received death threats over the incident. He also said at least one person threatened to rape his wife.

“When the death threats and, you know, my wife’s being told, ‘Don’t leave your house — we’re gonna rape you.’ It was hard,” Leonard said. “A lot of these things are difficult to share, but over time I’ve been able to heal. This will be a lifelong thing.”

Leonard added that he does not expect sympathy, calling his use of an anti-Semitic slur “a mistake in extreme ignorance.” He he has been relieved that members of the Jewish community have been some of his biggest supporters.

“It’s amazing and puts a smile on my face to know how forgiving a lot of these people have been,” he said.

As for his NBA career, Leonard said he would be “ecstatic” if he had another opportunity to play for the Miami Heat.

“I fell in love with that place, I really did,” Leonard said. “My wife and I love it there. (Team owner) Micky Arison and the Arison family are incredible. … There’s something about the culture there that’s just me.”

Leonard, 29, has averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game during his career. The obvious issue for him is that he’s not a good enough player for most teams to accept the negative attention that would go along with signing him.


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