Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has opened a dialogue with Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard after Leonard used an anti-Semitic slur during a video game stream.
Edelman, one of a handful of Jewish players in the NFL, said he’d like to meet with Leonard and talk to him about why the slur was hurtful.
“So we’ve never met, I hope we can one day soon,” Edelman wrote in an open letter to Leonard. “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.”
Last year Edelman reached out to Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson after Jackson made anti-Semitic comments, and the two had what was described as a healthy conversation.