Star Memphis Grizzlies guard Jay Morant apologized late Tuesday after receiving days of backlash for a social media video of him brandishing a gun in public for the second time in more than two months.
“I know I’ve offended a lot of my supporters,” Morant said in a statement. “It’s been a journey and I know there’s more work to be done. My words may not sound like much right now, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a televised interview with ESPN on Tuesday that Morant’s friend was “appalled” by the video that was allegedly broadcast live on Instagram.
Why it matters: Morant is influential as a major rising NBA star.
Morant, 23, is one of the best young players in the NBA, making two All-Star teams and one All-NBA team in just four years of his career. In the year He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2020. He is known for his high-flying streak and has made the Grizzlies a strong contender for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference in back-to-back seasons.
He is also a A new generation of NBA stars The league hopes to help the game transition with the likes of LeBron James, 38, and Stephen Curry, 35, who has a new signature sneaker with Nike and is the new face of Powerade in March.
Background: Banned in March due to gun video.
Morant faced criticism in March when a live video posted on his Instagram account showed him waving a gun around in a Colorado nightclub. The NBA suspended him for eight games. Morant also apologized, taking “full responsibility” for his actions. Morant vowed to “work on better coping mechanisms” and went to counseling in Florida.
NBA Commissioner Silver called Morant’s actions “irresponsible, careless and potentially very dangerous.”
The video was posted as other controversies surrounding Morant swirled.
In one lawsuit, Josh Holloway, then 17, accused Morant of punching him during a pickup basketball game last summer. Morant told police it was self-defense. After Morant’s mother got into a dispute at a shoe store, a mall worker accused Morant of assaulting her. Another man accused Morant of threatening her when she came to his sister’s high school volleyball game because she got into an argument. Morant has not been charged with a crime in these cases.
Copies of the new video went viral on Sunday. The Grizzlies quickly suspended Morrant from all team activities, even though the team was eliminated from the playoffs last month.
What’s next: The NBA decides to punish Morant again.
Silver told ESPN on Tuesday that the league is investigating the new video.
“The videos are grainy and all that,” Silver said. But I assume the worst.
As part of the NBA Mutual agreement As between the players association and the team owners, the players agree not to “do anything that materially harms or materially damages” the team or the league. In suspending Morant for the first time, the NBA said the action was detrimental to the league.