The National Basketball Association suspended Ja Morant for 25 games after the Memphis Grizzlies star brandished a gun on a live video for the second time, the league said Friday.
Morant’s suspension will take effect at the start of the upcoming season. The NBA said Morant will have to meet unspecified “conditions” before he returns to the court and will not be able to participate in team or league activities, in addition to preseason games.
Morant, a 23-year-old NBA All-Star, first waved a gun in a livestream from a night club in March, prompting an eight-game suspension. He then displayed a firearm in a car with friends during a second video stream last month.
“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 Friday.
Silver added that “basketball needs to take a back seat at this time. Prior to his return to play, he will be required to formulate and fulfill a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”
In a statement to ESPN on Friday, Morant apologized and promised he is “going to be better.” He said he would spend the offseason working on his mental health.
“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,” he said.
Morant is endorsed by Nike. In a statement Friday, the athletic apparel giant said, “We are pleased that Ja is taking accountability and prioritizing his well-being. We will continue to support him on and off the court.”
— CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report