NBA analyst Charles Barkley on Wednesday denounced Ja Morant and some supporters after the Memphis Grizzlies star was suspended again for brandishing a gun in a social media video. (Watch the clip below.)
Barkley first addressed those who have defended Morant, including social media personality Rex Chapman, a former player, and Fox News host Will Cain. Cain characterized the suspension as an infringement of Morant’s Second Amendment rights. (Barkley did not mention either man specifically.)
“We got some idiots, some fools, some jackasses on television that really just pissed me off talking about: ‘Ja should make a stance and he didn’t break any laws. He didn’t do anything wrong. We’re in a state where you can carry a gun.’ Those guys are just — are just freakin’ idiots,” Barkley said on the TNT pregame show before the Miami Heat beat the host Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
When you’re an NBA star, Barkley said, “there are certain rules and regulations you have to live by, plain and simple. You can’t do stupid stuff. That’s the tradeoff.”
Barkley, a Basketball Hall of Famer, chided Morant for risking millions of dollars he’s paid “to dribble a stupid basketball” by making videos that invite consequences. He called Morant a “great player” who’s a “fool already” and now “a bigger fool a few months later” for another gun-related suspension.
In March, Morant was suspended for eight games. Since the latest video surfaced, he’s been suspended indefinitely while the NBA reviews the matter.
“My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions,” Morant said in a statement.