(JTA) — Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman is offering Meyers Leonard an open hand after the NBA player apologized for saying the word “kike” during a video game livestream.
Edelman posted what he called a short open letter to Leonard on his social media pages on Wednesday, 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.”
Edelman ended on a lighter note.
“I’m down in Miami fairly often. Let’s do a Shabbat dinner with some friends[,] I’ll show you a fun time,” he wrote.
Leonard plays for the NBA’s Miami Heat, but the team announced Tuesday that he will be taking an indefinite leave of absence while the league investigates his use of the slur. In the apology he issued Tuesday, Leonard said he was ignorant about the term but was “deeply sorry” for using it.