Ja Morant spoke out Tuesday night about his latest troubles, three days after the Memphis guard apparently held a firearm again while being broadcast on social media and was suspended by the Grizzlies from all team activities.
He’s also being investigated by the NBA for his actions, two months after the league suspended him for essentially the same thing — displaying a gun on social media.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me,” Morant said in a statement released Tuesday night by his representatives. “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.”
His comments came a few hours after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed disappointment over the situation. Silver handed down an eight-game suspension in March; there is no way of knowing yet what penalties Morant may face this time.
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw, this weekend, that video,” Silver said in a televised interview with ESPN before the draft lottery in Chicago. “We’re in the process of investigating it and we’ll figure out exactly what happened as best as we can. The video’s a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst. We’ll figure out exactly what happened there.”
The first video, which cost Morant about $669,000 in forfeited salary, came out in March. The second was captured Saturday night and widely shared online. It was streamed on the Instagram account of Morant associate Davonte Pack, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Grizzlies have not commented on the specifics of the latest video.
The video streamed by Pack shows Morant briefly appearing to display a handgun. At the very brief moment — maybe less than a second — when Morant is shown holding what appears to be a weapon as he sits in the passenger seat of a vehicle, the livestream had 111 viewers.
“He could have injured, maimed, killed himself, someone else, with an act like that,” Silver said. “And also the acknowledgement that he’s a star. He has an incredibly huge following. And my concern — and I thought he shared with me — that millions if not 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.”
Morant said in March that he needed to work on himself, and when the season ended a couple weeks ago, he offered similar thoughts.