FaZe Clan announced it is “cutting ties” with Miami Heat power forward Meyers Leonard after Leonard used an anti-Semitic slur during a Call of Duty: Warzone stream on Twitch today.
"Fucking cowards, don't fucking snipe at me you... k*ke bitch," Leonard said while streaming from his home.
Leonard joined FaZe as a content creator in June 2019 under the name "FaZe Hammer." He also previously invested in FaZe, although in its brief statement via Twitter, FaZe said "Meyers is not a member of FaZe."
Since using the slur on his stream, Scuf Gaming and Origin PC, which are both subsidiaries of Corsair Gaming, have ended their partnerships with Leonard. ASTRO Gaming also ended its partnership with Leonard.
The Heat also issued a statement in which the team said it "will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with [the] franchise," and that Leonard would "be away from the team indefinitely."
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass told ESPN the league is looking into this incident, and in the Heat's statement, the team said it would cooperate with the league as it conducts an investigation.
Hours after the incident, Leonard issued a statement in which he apologized for using the slur. He said "didn't know what the word meant at the time," but said his "ignorance about its history and how offensive it is to the Jewish community is absolutely not an excuse."
Leonard also said he will reach out to "people who can help educate [him] about this type of hate and how we can fight it."
Leonard was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2012 with the 11th overall pick in the NBA Draft. He was traded to the Heat in the 2019 offseason.
The 29-year-old can often be found playing battle royale titles, such as Warzone and Fortnite. After the stoppage of the 2019-2020 NBA season in March 2020, Leonard became a frequent streamer on Twitch. He streamed on ESPN Esports' Twitch channel as a guest and even hosted a charity Warzone tournament, called the Hammer Classic, in May 2020.
Update March 9 8:58pm CT: This article has been updated to include statements from FaZe, Leonard and the Heat.