Opinion: Meyers Leonard knew what the word meant – and he’d be better off admitting that


When it comes the all-too-familiar genre of ethnic-slur apologies, "I didn't know what the word meant at the time" is certainly a new one.

Of course, that was the excuse the Miami Heat's Meyers Leonard used in his "apology" for loudly using an anti-Semitic slur during a Twitch stream on Tuesday.

Leonard may not have explicitly known the detailed history of the word (heck, most Jews probably don't), but he definitely knew what it meant.

Watching video of the incident, what's most striking is Leonard seeming to pause beforehand to come up with something derogatory to say. It didn't take him long to come up with that particular slur, a deep cut and not something that you hear regularly (or ever) in the 21st century.

And that's what makes made Leonard's apology all the more insincere and cowardly. 

You used the word, now own it. Why was it in your vocabulary to begin with? If you didn't know what it meant, why say it? 

Leonard had the opportunity to be honest, admit he know its meaning, show remorse for using the word and start moving in the right direction. Instead, he took a regrettable way out.

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