As thing stand, it remains to be seen whether the New England Patriots will bring back Julian Edelman this offseason.
The veteran wideout is approaching the final year of his contract, and there have been rumors hinting that he could become a potential cap casualty.
For context, cutting Edelman would save the Patriots roughly $3.5 million against the cap, which could go a long way towards winning a bidding war for a marquee free agent.
We would personally be against doing so, as the 34-year-old’s experience could prove invaluable in terms of passing on knowledge to the team’s young receiving corps, but that’s neither here nor there.
In the meantime, however, it appears that Edelman is volunteering to offer up his wisdom in response to a truly distasteful moment that surfaced over the weekend.
For those unaware, NBA player Meyers Leonard uttered an anti-Semitic slur during a live stream, and he’s since released an apology in which he claimed to not understand the meaning of the term he used.
Being the beacon of philanthropy that he is, Edelman commendably took to social media with a constructive message directed at Leonard offering to educate him on the Jewish culture.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman responded to Meyers Leonard’s use of an anti-Semitic slur.
“I get the sense that you didn’t use that word out of hate, more out of ignorance,” Edelman wrote. “Most likely, you weren’t trying to hurt anyone or even profile Jews in your comment. That’s what it takes to be 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.”
This is a perfect encapsulation of what has made Edelman as respected as he is around the league, and the world of sports in general. Even though Leonard’s actions might disgust him, being a member of the Jewish community, the three-time champ is always to willing to give individuals who spew hateful comments the benefit of the doubt.
Patriots fans will remember that Edelman did something similar with former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson last year after he posted a string of anti-Semitic posts on Instagram that he regrettably attributed to Adolf Hitler and a reverence for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
In response, Edelman offered to take Jackson to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the nation’s capital. While it isn’t known whether the two stars made the trip, Edelman confirmed that he and Jackson have remained in consistent contact, with most of their conversations revolving around anti-Semitism.
As for Leonard, this moment of ignorance might cost him dearly when it comes to his NBA future, as the Miami Heat (his current team) announced that he would be “away from the team indefinitely” while the NBA works through its investigation.
It doesn’t help Leonard’s case that he seemingly paused and ran through a list of profanities in his mind that he could utter before deciding on what he did, so he should seriously consider taking Edelman’s olive branch as he works to make amends with the countless individuals he offended.