Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman on Wednesday posted a letter in which he offered Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard an open hand and even invited him to Shabbat dinner, JTA reported.
Leonard apologized on Tuesday after footage of him saying the anti-Semitic slur “k*ke” during a video game livestream was made public.
The team later suspended Leonard over the use of the slur.
Edelman posted what he called a short open letter to Leonard on his social media pages, saying he did not want to add to the criticism Leonard was facing but instead “offer some perspective.”
“I get the sense that you didn’t use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance,” Edelman wrote. “Casual ignorance is harder to combat and has greater reach, especially when you command great influence. Hate is like a virus. Even accidentally, it can rapidly spread.”
In conclusion, Edelman wrote, “I’m down in Miami fairly often. Let’s do a Shabbat dinner with some friends[,] I’ll show you a fun time.”
Leonard apologized on Tuesday for using the anti-Semitic slur, claiming in a statement he did not know the meaning of the word when he used it.
"While I didn't know what the word meant at the time, my ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong. I am now more aware of its meaning and I am committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it,” he said.
The NBA said on Tuesday it is “in the process of gathering more information” on the incident.