Julian Edelman of the Patriots writes an open letter to Meyers Leonard on Twitter: “Hate is sort of a virus”

Julian Edelman regards the anti-Semitism arc of the Meyer Leonard heat center as a teachable moment.

The Patriots wide receiver, one of the NFL’s few Jewish players, took to Twitter Wednesday to write a letter to Leonard after the controversial NBA player bowed anti-Semitic on his Twitch stream during a Call of Duty session dropped.

MORE: Meyer’s Leonard situation explained

Edelman’s letter complete:

An open letter to Meyer’s Leonard

So we never met, I hope we can one day soon. I am sure you have received a lot of criticism for what you said. I’m not trying to add anything to that, just want to offer perspective.

I have a feeling that you used this word not out of hatred, but out of ignorance. Most likely, in your comment you did not try to hurt anyone or even profile Jews. That is what makes it so destructive. When someone wants to be hateful, they usually face great opposition. Random ignorance is harder to combat and has wider scope, especially when you are very influential. Hate is like a virus. It can also spread quickly by accident.

I’m in Miami quite often. Let’s have a Shabbat dinner with some friends. I will show you a fun time.


It’s not the first time Edelman has used someone else’s hateful words as a moment to try to educate something. In 2020, Edelman reached out to the broad recipient DeSean Jackson and offered to visit a Holocaust museum together. Jackson had posted anti-Semitic statements on his Twitter.

On Tuesday, the Heat announced that Leonard would be away from the team indefinitely. Leonard is currently out for the season while rehabilitating from shoulder surgery.

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