Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has dominated the online conversation in recent days. Even rap music legend Lil Wayne has weighed in on the controversy involving the 23-year-old NBA star.
A second video of Ja Morant brandishing a firearm on Instagram Live surfaced last weekend. The Grizzlies suspended Morant from all team activities in response to the viral footage.
Avid sports fan Lil Wayne appeared on the All The Smoke podcast with former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Part of the show included Wayne jumping into the debate about Ja Morant.
Lil Wayne connected Ja Morant’s situation to his own experiences as a global celebrity. According to the Young Money leader, sometimes the public backlash does not reach the intended target.
“In a lot of situations like this, when we’re all talking about it, the actual people we’re talking about, they purposely stay away from this,” said Wayne. “And there are people protecting them that’s gonna hear it for them and gonna protect them from hearing it.”
He added, “So it’s hard for the message to get through. You got people looking dead in the camera on TV like, ‘I’m talking to you, Ja.’ It’s hard for the message to get through because I’m the breadwinner. I wish a n#### would tell me something.”
Numerous talking heads in sports and Hip Hop media, like Kwame Brown and Charlamagne Tha God, have criticized Ja Morant’s behavior. However, Morant also has defenders like the Memphis-bred rapper BlocBoy JB and ESPN analyst JJ Redick.
Lil Wayne also reflected on why he displayed aggressive actions in the past. The 40-year-old entertainer, who served time in a New York jail for gun possession, mentioned how fans and pundits are not aware of personal problems he may have had with certain adversaries.
On Ja Morant possibly having actual street ties, Wayne said, “He comes from a town of like 3000 people. What y’all expect? Y’all gave him $200 million. I just said a town with 3000 people. You expect him to be responsible? Nah, we’re tripping then… That’s magic.”