The NBA suspended Ja Morant for 25 games after he brandished a gun on social media for the second time in a matter of months.
Morant previously served an eight-game suspension for waving a gun around on Instagram Live in March. Fans saw the Memphis Grizzlies guard wield a gun again on Instagram Live in May. The NBA announced his suspension for the start of the 2023-2024 season on Friday (June 16).
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.”
Morant issued a statement about the suspension on Friday. He apologized for his actions, which will cost him more than $7.6 million. The basketball star vowed to work on his mental health and decision-making.
“I’ve had time to reflect and I realize how much hurt I’ve caused,” Morant said. “I want to apologize to the NBA, the Grizzlies, my teammates and the city of Memphis. To Adam Silver, Zach Kleiman and Robert Pera – who gave me the opportunity to be a professional athlete and have supported me, I’m sorry for the harm I’ve done. To the kids who look up to me, I’m sorry for failing you as a role model. I promise I’m going to be better. To all my sponsors, I’m going to be a better representation of our brands. And to all my fans, I’m going to make it up to you, I promise.”
Read Morant’s entire statement below.