Edelman responds to Meyers Leonard's anti-Semitic slur with open letter


New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is trying to use Meyers Leonard's ugly incident as a teaching moment for the Miami Heat big man.

Leonard recently used an anti-Semitic slur on a Twitch live stream while playing the Call of Duty video game. He since has apologized in a statement on Instagram and is away from the team indefinitely.

Edelman, who is Jewish, wrote an open letter to Leonard via Twitter on Wednesday reacting to the Heat big man's comments.

"I get the sense that you didn't use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance," Edelman wrote. " ... 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."

Edelman then offered to host Leonard for a Shabbat dinner, a meal in Jewish tradition eaten at the beginning of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, which begins every Friday at sundown.

Edelman made a similar gesture to DeSean Jackson last summer after the NFL wide receiver shared anti-Semitic content on his Instagram. Edelman suggested the two players visit the Holocaust Museum and Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. to learn more about Jewish history, and the two made plans to "educate one another," per Edelman.


Here's hoping Edelman and Leonard can have a similarly constructive conversation about rooting out anti-Semitic behavior.