Julian Edelman views the anti-Semitism slur from Heat center Meyer Leonard as a teachable moment.
The Patriots wide receiver, one of the NFL’s few Jewish players, took to Twitter to pen a letter to Leonard on Wednesday after the controversial NBA player was caught dropping an anti-Semitic slur during a “Call of Duty” session on his Twitch stream.
Edelman’s letter in full:
An open letter to Meyers Leonard
So we’ve never met, I hope we can one day soon. I’m sure you’ve been getting lots of criticism for what you said. Not trying to add to that, I just want to offer some perspective.
I get the sense that you didn’t use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance. Most likely, you weren’t trying to hurt anyone or even profile Jews in your comment. That’s what makes it so destructive. When someone intends to be hateful, it’s usually met with great resistance. 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.
I’m down in Miami fairly often. Let’s do a Shabbat dinner with some friends I’ll show you a fun time.
It’s not the first time that Edelman used another’s hateful words as a moment to try and educate. In 2020, Edelman reached out to wide receiver DeSean Jackson, offering to visit a Holocaust museum together. Jackson had posted anti-Semitic statements on his Twitter.
On Tuesday, the Heat announced that Leonard would be away from the team indefinitely. Leonard is currently out for the season while rehabbing from shoulder surgery.