Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant said he took full accountability for his actions, in a statement published by US media on Tuesday (May 16) after another social media video emerged showing the two-time All-Star holding what appeared to be a gun.
The Grizzlies suspended Morant from all team activities on Sunday, roughly two months after a similar incident that saw him suspended for eight games when he appeared in a live-streaming video on Instagram holding a firearm at a nightclub.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey and I recognise there is more work to do,” Morant said in a statement published by ESPN and USA Today.
“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.”
Reuters has reached out to his agency for comment.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said they were investigating the incident, admitting he was “shocked” when he saw the video after Morant had seemed to take the first suspension “incredibly seriously” when they spoke.
“We spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career but the safety issues around it. He could have injured, maimed, killed himself or someone else with an act like that,” Silver said at NBA’s draft lottery.
“He has an incredibly huge following. My concern, and I thought he shared with me, that tens of millions of kids globally would see him as having done something that was celebrating in a way, that act of using a firearm in that fashion.
“Now, we’re in the process of investigating it and we’ll figure out exactly what happened to the best we can. The video is a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst.”
Another suspension would see Morant miss the start of the 2023-24 season, with the Grizzlies no longer in the playoffs after they were knocked out by the Los Angeles Lakers last month.