Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has made some extended comments for the first time about the gun incident that got him suspended from the league this month. He says he is seeking help and insists he is not violent.
Morant was suspended after a video was posted on Instagram that reportedly showed him flashing a gun at a 17-year-old at a Colorado nightclub.
Morant was soon suspended for eight games without pay.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.”
Silver added that Morant “expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior” to the league and insisted he “understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court.”
Now, Morant is speaking out publicly about the incident and saying he is undergoing counseling to “work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being,” Fox News reports.
Ja, short for Jamel, claimed that the gun was not his but that he is still taking “full responsibility” for his actions.
“It’s not who I am. I don’t condone any type of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions,” Morant said in an interview with ESPN. “I made a bad mistake, and I can see the image that I painted over myself with my recent mistakes, but in the future, I’m going to show everybody who Ja really is, what I’m about and change this narrative.”
Ja Morant sat down with @JalenRose in an exclusive interview about the incident that led to his suspension and his path forward. pic.twitter.com/t1WwL5dvrQ
— ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2023
Ultimately, the Glendale Police Department did not charge Morant with any crime linked to the incident filmed in the nightclub.
The incident at the nightclub was not the first time Morant was linked to accusations of wielding a gun.
As Fox noted, in Feb., members of the Indiana Pacers claimed that a red laser light was beamed at them — which they took for being a firearm laser sighting system — from a vehicle Morant was in with several others. The league investigated and could not prove any firearm was present during the incident.
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