Basketball star Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies has been suspended for 25 games without pay for another gun incident. As the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Friday, the penalty for “league-damaging behavior” applies immediately to the first 25 games of the coming season. The 23-year-old American is also not allowed to take part in any league or team activities, including preparation games, until the sentence expires.
Morant posed in a car with a gun in a video posted live on Instagram on May 13, according to the NBA. He was immediately suspended by his team. He recently apologized for his behavior and said: “My words may not mean much at the moment, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I am determined to keep working on myself.”
“The potential for other young people to mimic Ja’s behavior is of particular concern. Under these circumstances, we believe a 25-game suspension is appropriate and make it clear that reckless and irresponsible gun handling will not be tolerated,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
It was Morant’s second offense of this kind. In March, he posed in a drunken state with a gun outside a Denver nightclub, which was also broadcast in a video stream. At that time, the 23-year-old was sentenced to eight games without pay. He lost about $669,000 in salary as a result. Morant is currently by far the best-paid professional in the Grizzlies roster. Starting next season, he is expected to earn $194 million over five years, which is now decreasing due to the NBA sanction. Morant had promised that such behavior would not be repeated.