+
popular

Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman reacted to Myers Leonard's antisemitism in the best way

Jewish NFL star Julian Edelman reacted to Myers Leonard's antisemitism in the best way
via Wikimedia Commons

Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard was playing Call of Duty: Warzone on his Twitch channel Monday when, during the heat of battle, the 29-year-old belted out an antisemitic insult.

His outburst was live-streamed and then promoted to his 177,000 Twitter followers.

"Fu**ing cowards. Don't fu**ing snipe me, you fu**ing k**e bit*h," he said. The tirade was disturbing and for some, further confirmation that Leonard is a bigot.

He refused to kneel with his teammates last year during the national anthem but says it was out of respect for his brother in the military.


He responded to criticism by saying, "I am a compassionate human being and I truly love all people. … I will continue to use my platform, my voice and my actions to show how much I care about the African American culture and for everyone."

On Tuesday, the video went viral and he was condemned by the Heat and NBA for the incident. In a statement, the Heat announced Leonard would be away from the team "indefinitely."

The Heat are owned by Micky Arison, a prominent Israeli-American businessman.

"I am deeply sorry for using an anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday," Leonard responded on Instagram.

"While I didn't know what the word meant at the time, my ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse and I was just wrong," he continued. "I am now 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."

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman responded to Leonard's request for someone to educate him by writing an open letter on Twitter.

"I'm sure you've been getting lots of criticism for what you said," Edelman wrote. "Not trying to add to that, I just want to offer some perspective."

"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."

Edelman continued, "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."

Edelman ended his letter with an offer to Leonard — "I'm down in Miami fairly often. Let's do a Shabbat dinner with some friends I'll show you a fun time."

Shabbat dinner is a tradition for Jewish families that happens Friday nights in preparation for Saturday, the Jewish day of rest. It's a spiritual event commemorated with traditional foods, blessings, and a candle-lighting ceremony.

Edelman's open letter is powerful because, in today's world where people are so quick to "cancel" others, he took the opportunity to educate Leonard instead. In a broader view, it communicates to the world that people are redeemable, and sometimes, what we see as hate may simply be stupidity.

It also doesn't play into the hands of bigots who tend to rally around those who get caught being xenophobic. If Leonard takes Edelman up on his offer, it shows the bigots he's not on their side.

It's worth noting that Edelman's response mirrors the advice prescribed by the Anti-Defamation League. "The issue boils down to respect — respect for and acceptance of people who are different," the ADL says in its "Confronting Antisemitism" handbook. "Some say that words cannot hurt, but unthinking comments that stem from ignorance can catch on and become more dangerous."

The New England Patriot was raised Christian but has embraced his paternal great-grandfather's Jewish roots over the past few years. Edelman says he speaks with a Rabbi Yossi in Los Angeles on a weekly basis.

Last year, Edelman told Los Angeles Magazine that, at the age of 33, he was studying for his Bar Mitzvah, a rite of passage for 13-year-old Jewish males that signifies the beginning of adulthood.

But after considering Edelman's response to Leonard, one can say that a Bar Mitzvah would just be customary at this point. His thoughtful, constructive response to an incident of antisemitism proves he's already quite the mensch.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less

Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2006.

A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.

After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.

Keep ReadingShow less
Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

American mom living in Germany lists postpartum support and women are gobsmacked

“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”

U.S. mom living in Germany shares postpartum support she received.

Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)

Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?

A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.

Keep ReadingShow less

Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less