Skip To Content
Fast Forward

NBA player who shouted antisemitic slur traded — and will not be playing

In a move that will take him off the court for awhile, the Miami Heat has traded Meyers Leonard, the NBA star who was recently caught using an antisemitic slur while livestreaming a video game.

The Heat traded Meyers, a 29-year-old power forward, to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but in a somewhat unusual move, the Thunder said it plans to sideline him. “Leonard will not be reporting to Oklahoma City and will not be an active member of the organization,” the team said in a statement on Wednesday.

Instead, Leonard was to be part of a package deal: The Miami Heat also gave the Thunder their second-round pick in the 2027 draft. As part of the deal, forward Trevor Ariza went from Oklahoma to Miami.

Leonard found himself embroiled in controversy earlier this month after he blurted out a string of expletives – including “you f—-ing kike bitch” – while he was playing the video game “Call of Duty,” which he was broadcasting for the general public on the platform Twitch.

The Anti-Defamation League and other groups called for the Miami Heat to take action. NFL star Julian Edelman, one of the most prominent Jewish professional athletes in America, wrote an open letter to Leonard inviting him to a Shabbat dinner in Miami. The invitation is presumably still open, but will perhaps now take place in a different city.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.