FaZe Clan is cutting ties with Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard after the NBA star used anti-Semitic slurs during a live stream.
According to ESPN, Leonard could be heard saying, “Don’t fucking snipe you, you fucking kike bitch.” Kike is an ethnic slur for Jewish people. It originated as an offensive term for Jewish people immigrating to the United States in the early 20th century. It’s often used by neo-Nazis and other hate groups. Leonard claimed in a statement on Instagram that he was not aware that “kike” was an offensive term to the Jewish community.
“I am more aware of its meaning and I am committed to properly seeking out people who can help educate me about this type of hate and how we can fight it. I acknowledge and own my mistake and there’s no running from something like this that is so hurtful to someone else,” Leonard wrote.
Meyers Leonard released a statement apologizing for his use of an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream on Monday.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 10, 2021
In response to the news, FaZe Clan put out its own statement regarding the incident. The official Twitter account stated that the organization was “incredibly disappointed” to learn about Leonard’s words that were said on stream. Leonard invested in the esports organization in 2019.
“FaZe does not tolerate hate speech or discriminatory language of any kind,” FaZe said. “This community has so much growing to do. Let’s be better together.”
In the tweet, FaZe Clan confirmed that the organization is cutting ties with the NBA player.
Many in the gaming community were expressed confusion with FaZe Clan’s response. While some fans expressed that people were “too sensitive,” most comments revolved around the organization’s potential hypocrisy. It was noted by fans that many other members of FaZe Clan have said other offensive things without facing any public repercussions.
FaZe Clan has not made any further statements about the offensive language since the tweet announcing that Leonard was no longer associated with the organization. Leonard was also suspended from the Miami Heat as the NBA conducts an investigation. Twitch has suspended Leonard’s channel.