The Memphis Grizzlies announced on Saturday (March 4) that “Ja Morant will be away from the team for at least the next two games” after a video of the star guard brandishing a firearm surfaced online.
In the video, the two-time All-Star can be seen at what is believed to be a strip club, shirtless and dancing around to NBA YoungBoy’s “Bring ‘Em Out,” while flashing a gun in front of the camera.
The NBA released a statement where they confirm they are investigating the situation. “We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Morant, 23, who was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019 took full responsibility for his actions and vowed to get help.
“I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
The 23-year old has since deactivated both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Despite the loud social media backlash, Nike, who has a signature shoe line with Morant, backed the Grizzlies star in a statement released Saturday evening.
“We appreciate Ja’s accountability and that he is taking the time to get the help he needs,” the statement read. “We support his prioritization of his well-being.”
Social media reacts to Ja Morant’s gun suspension
Morant’s show of arms comes days after he was accused of flashing a gun at a 17-year old following an altercation the two had during a pickup basketball game at his home in Tennessee over the summer. The incident reportedly happened four days after a security guard inside of a mall in Memphis filed a police report, stating that Morant threatened him while one of Morant’s associates pushed him, though no arrests were made from the incident.
Many NBA fans believe the Grizzlies guard is hustling backwards, and are worried he could throw his career away if he continues down this path.
“If you know and love @JaMorant put your arms around him and tell him the truth… Ja you got a special ability them other n-ggas around you don’t.. and if the niggas around you loved you.. it’s no way you would be flashing that gun..I don’t care if you was to say it’s no foul play to having that gun on your live that’s a no go,” wrote Dez Bryant on Twitter.
“It doesn’t matter where Ja Morant is from or how he grew up, he’s making truly catastrophic decisions,” added Jamele Hill.