Ja Morant Makes First Statement Since Flashing Gun on Social Media: 'I've Disappointed a Lot of People'
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he was "shocked" to see Morant flashing a gun on social media again, months after he was suspended for doing the same thing
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has made his first public comments since he was again suspended for flashing a handgun in a video on social media.
The incident last week was the second time in recent months that Morant, 23, has been disciplined for flaunting a firearm on Instagram.
"I know I've disappointed a lot of people who have supported me," Morant said in a statement, according to ESPN. "This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I'm committed to continuing to work on myself."
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the network on Tuesday night that Morant similarly apologized and appeared "serious" about the consequences of his actions the last time he was suspended by the league for flashing a weapon on social media.
"Honestly, I was shocked," Silver told ESPN about seeing the most recent video.
Silver said he previously talked with Morant about "how incredibly serious the first incident was of waving a firearm on social media."
"An eight-game suspension was pretty serious and something that he, at least to me, seemed to take incredibly seriously in that time," Silver continued. "And we spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career, but the safety issues around it. [Morant] could've injured, maimed, killed himself, someone else with an act like that."
Silver said the two also previously discussed "the acknowledgment that he's a star" and the impact his actions have because of his status.
"He has an incredibly huge following, and [we discussed] my concern — and I thought he shared with me — that millions, if not tens of millions, of kids globally would have seen him do something that was celebrating in a way that act of using a firearm in that fashion," Silver said.
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That initial incident occurred in March when he flashed a gun on social media while he was out at a club in Denver while the Grizzlies were in town to face the Nuggets. ESPN reported that Morant was intoxicated at the time.
The March incident led to an eight-game suspension, while Morant also said he went to a counseling center in Florida to practice stress management.
"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 NBA star said at the time, according to Sports Illustrated.
The issue also appeared to cost Morant financially, as he was left off all three All-NBA teams named at the end of the season. Missing out on the honor cost Morant $39 million because of a stipulation in his contract with the Grizzlies, according to SI.
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Silver said Tuesday he "was left with the sense that [Morant] was taking this incredibly serious" when they last spoke.
The back-to-back suspensions for Morant followed his involvement in two other off-the-court incidents that The Washington Post reported on in March. In those instances, Morant was accused of threatening a security officer at a Memphis mall and also of punching a teenage boy during a pickup basketball game at his house.
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