March 10 (UPI) -- New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who is Jewish, wrote an open letter to Meyers Leonard on Wednesday about the Miami Heat center's use of an anti-Semitic slur during a recent video game live stream.
Edelman posted his letter to Leonard on Twitter, inviting him to a Shabbat dinner so they could talk.
"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," Edelman wrote. "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."
Leonard, who will remain away from the Heat indefinitely while the NBA conducts an investigation into the incident, used the anti-Semitic slur Monday during a broadcast on Twitch. The incident didn't appear to gain much attention until the clip circulated on social media the next day.
In the video that surfaced on social media Tuesday, Leonard was heard saying: "[Expletive] cowards. Don't [expletive] snipe me, you [expletive] [expletive] [expletive]."
Gaming companies Astro Gaming, Origin PC and Scuf Gaming said in statements posted to Twitter that they have terminated their partnerships with Leonard.
The 34-year-old Edelman has spoken out against anti-Semitism in recent years. Last year, he publicly invited then-Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., after Jackson posted anti-Semitic messages on social media.