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NBA suspends Ja Morant 25 games for second social media video involving a gun

AP – Memphis guard Ja Morant has been suspended 25 games by the NBA – his second ban in four months – and Commissioner Adam Silver made clear on Friday the star must stop his “alarming” habit of flashing guns on social media.

The suspension for the upcoming season comes a month after a second video of Morant flashing a handgun was streamed online. The video of Morant showing a gun while sitting in the passenger seat of a car was posted after his eight-game suspension in March for a video in which he flashed a handgun.

Morant is due to make around USD33.5 million this season. He now stands to lose just over USD300,000 per game – or approximately USD7.5 million. He also will have to adhere to certain conditions before being reinstated, the NBA said.

Silver made clear the two-time All-Star’s decision-making is “disconcerting”.

“The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning,” Silver said. “Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behaviour with guns will not  be tolerated.”

Ja Morant. PHOTO: AP

The league said Morant “will be ineligible to participate in any public league or team activities, including preseason games” during his suspension.

The Grizzlies suspended Morant indefinitely from team activities after the second video surfaced, and they said on Friday they respect the punishment for this “latest episode”.

“Our standards as a league and team are clear, and we expect that all team personnel will adhere to them,” the Grizzlies said.

Morant apologised again on Friday to the league, the Grizzlies, his teammates and the city of Memphis in a statement issued through his representatives.

He specifically told Silver, Grizzlies owner Robert Pera and Memphis general manager Zach Kleiman he is sorry.

“I promise I’m going to be better. To all of my sponsors, I’m going to be a better representation of our brands. And to all of my fans, I’m going to make it up to you, I promise,” Morant said.

“I hope you’ll give me the chance to prove to you over time I’m a better man than what I’ve been showing you,” Morant said on Friday.

National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio said the players association thinks the NBA went too far punishing Morant, calling it “excessive and inappropriate”.