Miami Heat’s Meyers Leonard Unveils Embarrassment of Being ‘White Privileged Male’

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The outrage from the death of an unarmed African-American man in Minnesota continues to resonate, with Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard expressing his embarrassment at his self-described status as a “white privileged male.”

George Floyd was the man who died on Monday night in Minnesota, with his death the latest racially-connected tragedy within the United States.

Leonard grew up in Robinson, Ill., a predominantly white community, but played for two years at the University of Illinois and is in his eighth NBA season. On the court, Leonard has never had a problem interacting with African-American teammates, coaches or opponents.

In his first season as a member of the Heat, the 28-year-old Leonard has served as the team’s starting center, averaging 6.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 49 contests.

At present, Leonard is in the final year of a four-year, $41 million deal that he signed in 2016 when he played for the Portland Trail Blazers. Leonard’s pay grade might cause some to believe that such a high level of income would insulate him from the tragedy that befell Floyd and others.

Yet, Leonard has shown over the course of his career that he possesses a social conscience and cares about others. His departure from Portland last year led to a flood of praiseworthy comments toward the veteran.

Leonard and the rest of his Heat teammates are currently waiting for the NBA to give the go-ahead to resume the 2019-20 season, one which in he and the team are hoping to make an extended postseason run.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.