The star Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant apologized late Tuesday after receiving days of backlash for a social media video that appeared to indicate him brandishing a gun in public for the second time in simply over two months.
“I do know I’ve dissatisfied lots of people who’ve supported me,” Morant mentioned in a press release. “This is a journey and I acknowledge there’s extra work to do. My phrases might not imply a lot proper now, however I take full accountability for my actions. I’m dedicated to persevering with to work on myself.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned in a televised interview with ESPN on Tuesday that he was “shocked” by the video, which Morant’s pal reportedly streamed dwell on Instagram.
Why It Matters: Morant is influential as a serious rising NBA star.
Morant, 23, is without doubt one of the greatest younger gamers within the NBA He has already made two All-Star groups and one All-NBA workforce simply 4 years into his profession. He gained the Rookie of the Year Award in 2020. He is greatest recognized for high-flying dunks and has made the Grizzlies a robust contender within the Western Conference because the No. 2 seed in back-to-back seasons.
He can be a part of a brand new technology of NBA stars the league hopes will assist the sport transition from growing old figures like LeBron James, 38, and Stephen Curry, 35. He has a brand new signature sneaker with Nike and had been introduced as the brand new face. of Powerade in March.
Background: He was suspended in March due to a gun video.
Morant confronted criticism in March when a dwell video on his Instagram account confirmed him waving round a firearm in a Colorado nightclub. The NBA suspended him for eight video games. Morant additionally apologized then, taking “full accountability” for his actions. Morant vowed to “work on higher strategies of coping with stress” and went to a counseling facility in Florida.
Silver, the NBA commissioner, known as Morant’s actions “irresponsible, reckless and doubtlessly very harmful.”
The video was posted as different Morant-related controversies swirled.
In a lawsuit, Josh Holloway, then 17, had accused Morant of punching him throughout a pickup basketball sport final summer season. Morant advised the police that it was self-defense. A mall worker had additionally accused Morant of assaulting him after Morant’s mom had a dispute at a shoe retailer. Another individual accused Morant of intimidation when Morant got here to his sister’s highschool volleyball sport as a result of she was concerned in a dispute. Morant has not been charged with against the law in any of those incidents.
Recordings of the brand new video went viral on Sunday. The Grizzlies shortly suspended Morant from all workforce actions, though the workforce was eradicated from the playoffs final month.
What’s Next: The NBA will resolve whether or not to self-discipline Morant once more.
Silver advised ESPN on Tuesday that the league was investigating the brand new video.
“The movies have been grainy and all that,” Silver mentioned. “But I’m assuming the worst.”
As a part of the NBA’s collective bargaining settlement between the gamers’ union and workforce homeowners, gamers conform to “to not do something that’s materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the very best pursuits” of the workforce or the league. In suspending Morant the primary time, the NBA mentioned his conduct had been detrimental to the league.