Miami Heat NBA pro and FaZe investor Meyers Leonard is facing backlash after uttering an anti-Semitic slur during a game of Call of Duty Warzone on Twitch.
On March 8, the 29-year-old power forward was streaming Warzone on his Twitch channel, playing alongside notable names such as Mason ‘Symfuhny’ Lanier and retired COD pro Tyler ‘TeePee’ Polchow. He then got frustrated when dealing with a sniper.
“Don’t be a f**king coward. Don’t f**king snipe me, you f**king… **** b*tch,” the NBA pro said.
Me laughing at this was fucked up, and was me being ignorant to what the word means and it’s impact. Not okay.
I try my best to keep my stream friendly to those who stop in.
I learned and I’m sorry for laughing. https://t.co/QyoWpUDYpM
— TeeP (@TylerTeeP) March 9, 2021
Later on in the broadcast, Meyers received a phone call allegedly from his wife, causing him to end the stream early.
“Yo, my wife needs me, she just called me,” Meyers told his chat and teammates. “I gotta roll, brother. GGs.”
It’s unclear if the phone call was actually from his wife or someone within his organization wanting him to end the stream. The VOD has since been deleted, but clips of the incident have been shared across social media.
Dis dude Meyers Leonard called someone a racist slur and then got a phone call a little later and had to dip. Yeah, not a good look💀 pic.twitter.com/HQ05uGRIv7
— Harold🏂 (@WassupHarold) March 9, 2021
While Leonard, the Heat, and Twitch have yet to respond, TeeP has since apologized for laughing at the remark, writing he was “being ignorant to what the word means and its impact. Not okay.”
FaZe Clan cuts ties with Leonard
The slur has already landed Leonard in some hot water. FaZe issued a statement condemning his comments and cut ties with him.
A statement from FaZe Clan. pic.twitter.com/ePo1NGEaN5
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) March 9, 2021
Elsewhere, Origin PC dropped him as an official sponsor. “A comment was recently made by Meyers Leonard that does not reflect the values or views of ORIGIN PC. We have decided to cease our working relationship with Meyers as we look into it further,” they said.
Additionally, SCUF also decided to end their relationship with Meyers, issuing an identical tweet to the one made by ORIGIN.
A comment was recently made by Meyers Leonard that does not reflect the values or views of ORIGIN PC. We have decided to cease our working relationship with Meyers as we look into it further.
— originpc (@ORIGINPC) March 9, 2021
Leonard issues a statement in wake of criticism
A few hours later, Leonard issued an apology, which was quickly posted and circulated on social media. In his statement, Leonard claimed that he did not know what the slur meant, and is “committed to properly seeking out people who can educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it.”
Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard releases statement apologizing for saying anti-Semitic slur on a livestream: pic.twitter.com/AOi7ZE6nCy
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 10, 2021
Astro Gaming drops Meyers Leonard
Astro Gaming has also dropped Leonard in wake of the controversy, publishing a statement on the subject in a tweet shortly after the NBA pro’s apology went live.
— ASTRO Gaming (@ASTROGaming) March 10, 2021
Twitch bans Meyers Leonard
As perhaps the final chapter in this, Twitch has finally laid down the ban hammer on Meyers Leonard. The NBA star’s account on the platform has been banned, although has maintained its partner status, according to ‘StreamerBans’.
— StreamerBans (@StreamerBans) March 10, 2021
Twitch hasn’t given a statement on the ban. The platform typically doesn’t comment on individual suspensions.