NBA center Meyers Leonard says he's spent the past 5 months out of the spotlight and working firsthand with the Jewish community ... dedicating his time to being a true ally after hurling an anti-Semitic slur in March.
The 29-year-old has not spoken publicly since apologizing for his hurtful language on a Twitch live stream ... but in his time away, he says he's made every effort to learn from his mistake and understand its significance.
"This was not something prescribed or forced upon me," Leonard said on Instagram. "It’s something that I felt and knew in my heart was right to do, which is why I chose to do it privately."
Leonard says he's discussed the beliefs and history of the community with Jewish leaders and friends ... and was troubled to hear how anti-Semitic actions and views have caused so much harm over time and in the present.
"I'm committed to being an ally," he said.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
"A true mistake and extreme ignorance is how this all began for me, but growing from this is a part of the journey."
"Again, I'd like to say how truly sorry I am to those who were hurt by my word. I take full ownership of my ignorance and will continue to do better through my actions. I'd also like to say how grateful I am for all of the love, compassion, and forgiveness that the Jewish community has graciously shown me."
As we previously reported, Leonard spoke out about hateful speech at an Anti-Defamation League conference earlier this month ... something he's grateful to have been a part of.