MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ja Morant will be suspended for 25 games without pay to start the season as a result of his recent actions, the NBA said Friday.
He will also be required to meet certain conditions before he can return to play and cannot participate in any public or team activities, including preseason games.
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly appalling.”
The Memphis Grizzlies said in a statement that the team respects the league’s decision to suspend Morant.
“Our standard as a league and team are clear, and we expect that all team personnel will adhere to them,” the team said.
The Grizzlies star released a statement Friday apologizing to the team, his young fans and the city of Memphis. It was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
“I’ve had time to reflect and I realize how much hurt I’ve caused,” Morant’s statement said. “I want to apologize to the NBA, the Grizzlies, my teammates and the city of Memphis. To Adam Silver, Zach Kleiman and Robert Pera — who gave me the opportunity to be a professional athlete and have supported me — I’m sorry for the harm I’ve done. To the kids who look up to me, I’m sorry for failing you as a role model. I promise I’m going to be better, …”
This comes after the point guard was seen May 13 apparently flashing a gun on Instagram Live for the second time in less than three months. The first time led to the eight-game suspension handed down in March, costing Morant about $669,000 in salary.
Following the second incident, Morant was suspended from all team activities by the Grizzlies, and the league opened another investigation into the star guard’s off-court conduct.
Morant went on to make several posts to his Instagram story that left fans worried about his well-being.
The 23-year-old shared pictures of his immediate family, telling them he loves them all. His final post was a picture of him in a jersey with the word “Bye.”