After a Miami Heat basketball player used an anti-Semitic slur on an Internet program, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman invited the athlete for a Shabbat meal.
Meyers Leonard, a center on the Miami Heat, has since been suspended indefinitely by the basketball club. The team is owned by Micky Arison, an Israeli-American.
Edelman posted the invitation in a letter to Leonard on Twitter on March 10. He wrote:
“An open letter to Meyers Leonard
“So we’ve never met, I hope we can one day soon. I’m sure you’ve been getting lots of criticism for what you said. 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. 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.