In the NBA, Anti-Semitic Slur Results in Same Fine as Automated Tweet

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We didn’t mention the Meyers Leonard thing from the other day, but what happened is that the Miami Heat forward/center was shown on a live stream using an anti-Semitic slur.

Leonard apologized for using the word, and was fined Thursday by the league to the tune of $50,000.

As I’m scrolling Twitter, I come across this tweet from Derek “Godner” Bodner, which is apt:

Now that’s pretty goofy, isn’t it?

The Morey tweet dates back to late December, which you may or may not recall. That was when an automated tweet was sent from his account, sharing a 2019 photo that congratulated James Harden on breaking the Houston Rockets’ franchise assist record. The league ruled that it amounted to tampering, and issued the Sixers’ GM a $50,000 fine. It’s the same amount Harden was fined for breaking COVID rules, FYI. Same amount Draymond Green was penalized for talking about Devin Booker on TNT.

So just to get the story straight, the NBA has issued $50,000 fines this year for:

  1. breaking COVID rules
  2. an erroneous automated tweet
  3. Draymond tampering
  4. saying the words “f****** k*** b****” on a livestream

This is like the fine equivalent of double techs, isn’t it? One guy commits the more egregious violation, and the refs just say “ah screw it, we’ll just T ’em both up and get on with the game.”

In this case, clearly these four transgressions are not the same, but the fact that the NBA deems them worthy of the same financial punishment is strange and results in bad optics. In Leonard’s case, he’ll lose more money via forfeited paychecks due to his suspension, but again, the punishment doesn’t seem to match the violation, not in relation to how the NBA has ruled in these other incidents.

EDIT – I’m not sure if there’s a max fine that can handed out, but I’m looking for that now. If that’s the case, then the NBA should still lower the “tampering” fines to show that they don’t think tampering is the same as anti-Semitism. My opinion.

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