AceShowbiz - Ja Morant has been suspended for 25 games without pay by the NBA for "conduct detrimental to the league." After his suspension was announced on Friday, June 16, the athlete issued a statement where he vowed to be better.
The 23-year-old began his lengthy message, "I've had time to reflect and I realize how much hurt I've caused." He then wrote, "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," Morant added. "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.
"I'm spending the offseason and my suspension continuing to work on my own mental health and decision making," he continued. "I'm also going to be training so that I'm ready to go when I can be back on the court. I know my teammates are going to hold it down and I'm so sorry I won't be out there with you at the beginning of the season. 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 has been suspended for 25 games in the 2023-2024 season after he was initially suspended by his team, the Memphis Grizzlies, in May. It was his second suspension in two months after flashing a gun on Instagram Live.
The NBPA, however, was unhappy with the latest punishment, calling it "excessive." The NBPA said in a statement, "Ja has expressed his remorse and accepted responsibility for his actions, and we support him unequivocally as he does whatever is necessary to represent himself, our players and our league in the best possible light."
"As to the discipline imposed, which keeps him off the court until December and requires some unstated conditions to be met before he can return, we believe it is excessive and inappropriate for a number of reasons including the facts involved in this particular incident, and that it is not fair and consistent with past discipline in our league, it added. "We will explore with Ja all options and next steps."