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April 8, 2021 2:36 pm

University of Miami Hillel to Host Virtual Event With Basketball Player Meyers Leonard Who Said Antisemitic Slur

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Former Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard is guarded by Boston Celtics center Daniel Theis during their Jan. 28 match at American Airlines Arena. Photo: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports.

The Hillel at the University of Miami has organized a Zoom event for April 13 with Meyers Leonard, the former Miami Heat basketball player who came under fire in March for using an antisemitic slur.

UM Hillel partnered with the Jewish Community Relations Council for the virtual event, titled “From Heat to Healing.” The question-and-answer discussion with Leonard, 29, will be led by Matthew Hiltzik, a communications executive and producer of the Holocaust documentary film “Paperclips.” The event is intended for a student audience only.

Igor Alterman, CEO of UM Hillel, told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “When Meyer Leonard’s comments surfaced, they hurt all of us, especially those who call Miami their home. Since the incident, Meyers showed signs of remorse and acknowledged the harm of his actions, based largely on his ignorance as it comes to the Jewish community. Hillel’s mission is to engage and educate. We felt that giving our students the opportunity to talk to Meyers directly … would create a unique space for our students and Meyers to grow, heal, and commit to fighting antisemitism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Leonard was at the center of controversy in March after shouting “you f***ing k*ke b***h” while playing the video game “Call of Duty,” during a broadcast for public viewing on the streaming platform Twitch. Shortly afterward he was fined and suspended from the Miami Heat “indefinitely,” and then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who waived him shortly after the trade deadline. The team said at the time, “Leonard will not be reporting to Oklahoma City and will not be an active member of the organization.”

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Meyers, who also lost a number of sponsorships, has apologized for his remarks and said he was “committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate.”

The April 13 Zoom event will be the athlete’s first public appearance since the incident.

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