The NBA has fined Meyers Leonard $50,000 US, the maximum allowed by league policy, and suspended him from using all Miami Heat facilities and activities for one week in response to his use of an anti-Semitic term.
Commissioner Adam Silver, in announcing those sanctions Thursday, also said that he believes Leonard “is genuinely remorseful” for using the slur.
“Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” 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,” Silver said.
Under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Silver could not exceed $50,000 as a fine for “any statement having, or that was designed to have, an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball.” He is permitted to combine the fine with a suspension and, because Leonard is already out for the remainder of the season with an injury, his salary will not be affected.
They issued another statement Thursday, several hours after Silver announced the sanctions.
“While we remain hurt and disappointed by what he said, we are encouraged that Meyers has started to take the necessary steps to educate himself about why his comments were so offensive,” the Heat statement said. “We will continue to communicate with Meyers and his representatives while he remains away from the team.”
Leonard apologized Tuesday for using the term, insisting he did not know what it meant when he used it one day earlier. The video drew sharp rebukes from league officials, members of other teams, celebrities and even athletes from other sports.
An open letter to <a href=”https://twitter.com/MeyersLeonard?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@MeyersLeonard</a> <a href=”https://t.co/bJcoupfbur”>pic.twitter.com/bJcoupfbur</a>