Ja Morant Apologizes After New Video With Apparent Gun

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 disenchanted lots of people who’ve supported me,” Morant mentioned in an announcement. “This is a journey and I acknowledge there’s extra work to do. My phrases could 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 buddy reportedly streamed reside on Instagram.

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 group simply 4 years into his profession. He received the Rookie of the Year Award in 2020. He is greatest identified for high-flying dunks and has made the Grizzlies a powerful contender within the Western Conference because the No. 2 seed in back-to-back seasons.

He can be a part of a brand new era of NBA stars the league hopes will assist the sport transition from ageing 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.

Morant confronted criticism in March when a reside 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 duty” 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 probably 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 recreation final summer time. Morant informed 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 recreation as a result of she was concerned in a dispute. Morant has not been charged with a criminal offense in any of those incidents.

Recordings of the brand new video went viral on Sunday. The Grizzlies shortly suspended Morant from all group actions, despite the fact that the group was eradicated from the playoffs final month.

Silver informed 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 group house owners, gamers comply with “to not do something that’s materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the perfect pursuits” of the group or the league. In suspending Morant the primary time, the NBA mentioned his conduct had been detrimental to the league.

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