The NBA has suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant for eight games without pay after a video surfaced of him holding a gun in a Colorado nightclub.
Morant was also inebriated, and his behavior was “detrimental to the league,” according to the NBA.
On Saturday, March 4, the All-Star guard, 23, apologized on his Instagram page following the live broadcast.
Morant’s behavior was described as “irresponsible, reckless, and potentially very dangerous” by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, especially among young fans who look up to him,” he added.
“He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior,” the commissioner said in a statement after meeting Morant in New York on Wednesday.
“Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend far beyond his on-court performance.”
Carrying a gun is legal in Colorado, with some exceptions, such as possession while under the influence of alcohol.
The Glendale Police Department did not find sufficient evidence to charge anyone.
Morant has not played since the incident occurred hours after the Grizzlies lost 113-97 to the Denver Nuggets, and the NBA is investigating.
He has already missed five games, and because the suspension is retroactive, he will be able to play against the Dallas Mavericks on March 21.
“Based on the information obtained during the investigation, the league did not conclude that the gun in question belonged to Morant, was brought into the nightclub by him, or was displayed by him for more than a brief period,” the NBA said in a statement.
“The investigation also found no evidence that Morant had the gun while traveling with the team or in any NBA facility, and Colorado authorities found insufficient evidence to charge Morant with a crime.”