Meyers Leonard, NBA Player Suspended 2 Years Ago for Antisemitic Slur, to Work Out for Lakers: Report

Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard warms up before the start of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Miami.
Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard warms up before the start of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Miami.

Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo

Meyers Leonard could be returning to the NBA two years after he was suspended for using an antisemitic slur.

Leonard is set to work out for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, multiple sources in the league told The Athletic on Thursday.

The Lakers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Reports of Leonard's workout comes nearly two years after he used a racial slur during a live broadcast of Call of Duty on the streaming platform, Twitch. A clip of the incident went viral on social media in March 2021 and drew swift condemnation from the Anti-Defamation League and the Heat.

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At the time, Leonard was a center for the Miami Heat. Shortly after the controversy, the team announced that Leonard would be "away" from the Miami Heat "indefinitely."

"The Miami Heat vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech," the Heat said in a statement shared on Twitter at the time.

"The words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise," the statement continued. "To hear it from a Miami Heat player is especially disappointing and hurtful to all those who work here, as well as the larger South Florida, Miami Heat and NBA communities."

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"Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely," the team said. "The Miami Heat will cooperate with the NBA while it conducts its investigation."

He was later fined $50,000 and required to participate in a cultural diversity program.

At the time, New England Patriots star Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, published an open letter about the incident to Leonard. Among other things, he wrote, "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."

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Leonard had already missed most of the 2020-21 season and was expected not to see playing time until 2022 after undergoing shoulder surgery.

After the clip from Leonard's gaming stream went viral, he issued an apology on his Instagram page.

"I am deeply sorry for using the anti-Semitic slur during a livestream yesterday," he wrote. "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."

"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," Leonard continued, in part.

PEOPLE reached out to representatives for Leonard but did not immediately hear back.